• Cheryl Wright

Walking Towards Greatness: Final Report from WALC

Healthy Communities, in partnership with the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department, is pursuing strategies to increase walkability throughout the community. While we know that physical activity is good for us, 51.3% of Bartholomew County residents do not meet the daily recommendations set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, adults living in highly walkable neighborhoods engage in 41 minutes more physical activity per week than those in low- walkability neighborhoods.

In October, the team hired the Walkable and Livable Communities (WALC) Institute to facilitate a 2-day Active Living Workshop to engage community members in making their streets and neighborhoods more walkable, livable, healthy and sustainable. The WALC Institute recently released the final report from their visit — Columbus, Indiana: Walking Towards Greatness. The 71-page report includes comprehensive information about a range of active living concepts, observations and recommendations for Columbus (including short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals), fact sheets, and other tools. They also completed a photo-vision for 25th Street. A photo-vision is a tool that is both aspirational and educational, and helps paint a vision for the opportunities gained when we transform our streets into places for people, not solely vehicles.

“More than 25% of all daily trips made in the US are within walking distance and 60% are within bicycling distance. Having the option to walk or bike – or move naturally- just makes sense. It also is particularly important to aging populations, technology and information sector workers, Millennials, and other groups that often make up the target demographics for city-building efforts… It will be the rebuilding, re-purposing, retrofitting and infilling of land and infrastructure in places like Columbus and surrounding areas- along with the redesign of critical intersections and corridors throughout town – that will improve prosperity, health, and well-being.” – Excerpts from Columbus, Indiana: Walking Towards Greatness Report

This work has been featured on the Plan4Health blog and on APA’s Policy News for Planners blog. This report will help guide the work on the Safe Routes to Schools Committee, the Bike and Pedestrian Infrastructure Team, and the Active Transportation Outreach Team.

For more information, contact Laura Garrett, Community Initiatives Lead, at Healthy Communities.

We will feature aspects of this report in future blog posts, but wanted to make sure the final report is made available for those of you who are interested in reading it.

#plan4health #WALC #WALCInstitute #Gohealthycolumbus #ColumbusIN

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