Cities & Towns Support Whole Community Health

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Communities that are built to support physical activity, safe walking and biking, use of public transportation, and easy access to fresh foods are essential for good health.

Healthy cities and towns see:

  • Two-fold increase in daily recommended physical activity in walkable communities.
  • 35% increase in physical activity when inviting, safe environments for exercise exist.
  • Lower overweight and obesity rates with access to fresh and healthy foods.
  • Reduced secondhand smoke exposure and increased quit success with smoke-free places.

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Watch this video to see how city planners and other developers play a key role in making healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.

Success Stories

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Wolcott makes a place for families

Driving long distances in rural areas to find safe, fun places for kids to play is a hardship on any family, and especially for families of limited income. Wolcott pulled the community together to improve the Wolcott Athletic Fields. Businesses, Pre-k students, elementary school students, the town of Wolcott, the local Athletic Association, the County Conservation District, and many individuals built benches and an entrance sign, painted and installed new nets on the basketball court, prepped the ground for a living Willow Structure, mulched, raked and seeded around the court, and flagged the walking path. By joining together, the residents of the town breathed new life into the park and created opportunities for safe, fun activity for kids and adults alike.

The ripple effect of a community garden in Newport

Access to healthy food is difficult with limited transportation and a neighborhood that doesn't feel safe. When residents advocated for a community garden and a land owner donated the land, the city created a place for people to grown their own healthy food. Residents shouldered the responsibility for preparing the garden plots and planting vegetables. As the garden flourishes, a sense of community has developed among neighbors, families are eating vegetables that they weren't eating before, and crime is down.