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Land Use Mix
The Land Use Mix indicator measures the average neighborhood-level diversity of destinations based on the mix of eight different employment types (office, retail, industrial, service, entertainment, education, health, and public sector). Though results from studies have varied, recent reports have consistently found positive associations “between walking for transportation and density, distance to nonresidential destinations, and land use mix." Having a mixed of land uses within a neighborhood has been linked to increased physical activity and improve public health. Conversely, a lack of land use mix can contribute lower physical activity, which in turn can lead to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and other diseases. For example, studies have found that “residents from communities with higher density, greater connectivity, and more land use mix report higher rates of walking/cycling for utilitarian purposes than low-density, poorly connected, and single land use neighborhoods” even after accounting for socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The Land Use Mix indicator is derive from Environmental Protection Agency Smart Location Database, InfoGroup, Inc. and the City of Birmingham existing land use.