As of 2011, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Communities are wrestling with two key components to planning: 1) reducing dependence on motor transportation and 2) increasing physical activity within a community. This guide, released by AARP, focuses how to plan effectively for creating healthy city infrastructures by securing funding, working with the local government, and effectively engaging the community at large.
The guide focuses on tools, case studies, key concepts, planning guides, and action steps to aid the planning process. That process focuses on building groups, engaging the community, working with local governments, funding projects, and resources. The guide provides a step-by-step process to affect change in community health with effective infrastructure and activity in practical ways.
Other highlights include:
- Walkability has a disproportionate impact on the health of a city. Increasing the opportunity for walking lowers obesity and health-related costs.
The report provides effective insights on what does and does not work in creating, keeping, and sustaining active groups. This is particularly helpful in knowing upon which aspects to focus and which to avoid.
- Transportation concepts like a “road diet” (page 14) can inspire new ways of considering how to maximize transportation options in the planning process.
- The report offers new and effective approaches to planning efforts such as how “visioning” actually impacts city planning, as well as, practical city examples of effective planning processes that increase activity.
How to Use
This document is meant to serve as a practical “how to” guide by introducing key concepts, guidelines, and action steps in planning processes. This guide can be used by planners seeking to build an age-friendly community that is accessible to all, while simultaneously creating a healthier community. Outcomes include reduced health care costs, greater access to the city by reducing dependence on motor transportation, and increased interconnectivity and community by city residents.