Tools to Promote Health and Walkability
Studies have shown that how we develop our communities impacts the way we eat and maintain physical activity. For example, areas that have a greater number of fresh food markets and fewer convenience stores and fast food restaurants, have lower obesity rates. Similarly, communities that incorporate sidewalks, bike paths and transit stops, greatly influences the overall health of its residents, according to a number of studies on community design.
We have added three new issues to the Toolbox this month that offer ideas and resources for communities that seek to increase opportunities for health and physical activity. Health and Land Use looks at how towns and villages have become spread out, resulting in limited access to services and alternative transportation options. Healthy Eating and Food Security looks at ways communities can encourage healthy eating through land use planning, zoning and economic development. And, Physical Activity and Mobility Options focuses on how communities can use development patterns, such as mixed land use and compact town centers, to increase opportunities for healthy activity and alternative transportation.
Check out these and other resources in our Community Planning Toolbox!