Active Living and Social Equity: Creating Healthy Communities for All Residents

A Guide for Local Governments


International City/County Management Association


Many segments of the population are disproportionately affected by the health consequences of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. However, local governments can respond by planning and designing communities that facilitate healthy lifestyles for all residents. This guide describes how local managers, department heads and local government staff can design healthy communities for all residents, regardless of income, race or ethnicity, age, ability or gender. The guide explains the connections between active living and social equity, provides a toolbox of local government strategies for promoting active living equitably, and highlights notable examples of local initiatives from around the country. A focus on active living and social equity also can serve as a lens through which local governments can address livability needs more generally by removing barriers to economic opportunity, transportation, services and amenities, and overall health and safety. This guide includes: an introduction to the connections between active living and social equity; strategies for promoting active living and social equity in key issue areas, such as walkability and pedestrian safety, bicycling, open space, land use, transportation infrastructure, economic development, school-based strategies, and nutrition access; case studies of successful local initiatives from around the country; and implementation strategies, such as funding, regional collaboration, engaging partners, and promoting awareness of active living and social equity.

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Health, Promoting Walking and Bicycling, Plans and Policies

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