Leading health experts agree that there is a direct connection between our neighborhoods and our health. The ZIP codes in which we live can be as much of a predictor of a person's health and well-being as his or her DNA or individual behaviors.
So how do we ensure that communities are healthy places for people to live?
One strategy is getting communities to commit to a Complete Streets approach to roadway design -- thereby providing a framework for planners, engineers and elected officials to incorporate more active forms of transportation.
Active Trans has been helping bring Complete Streets to dozens of local communites in recent years, and we're pleased to say that we'll be continuing with a major effort in suburban Cook County.
As part of the Cook County Department of Public Health’s (CCPDH) Healthy HotSpot Initiative, municipalities can apply to receive free expert technical assistance from Active Trans to create a Complete Streets approach to roadway design to make roads safe and accessible for all users.
Active Trans is also offering free consultation services to help communities develop active transportation plans that will make them more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
Having both a policy and plan is one of the best ways to improve streets for walkers and bikers -- while also positioning a community to receive future funding.
Active Trans and CCDPH first partnered in 2010 through the CDC’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. Through that program, Active Trans helped 25 local governments and school districts develop and enact a total of 62 separate policies aimed at reducing obesity through improvements to pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks.
Fueled with this success, we are continuing to improve health in suburban Cook County through the Healthy HotSpot program. If you live in one of the suburban Cook County priority communities, we hope to see your community involved with this effort.
For more information and to apply