Complete Streets Steering Committee spotlight: Voices for Healthy Kids

The National Complete Streets Coalition is just that—a coalition—and our success is made possible by our many partner organizations. Voices for Healthy Kids is the newest member of our Steering Committee and we’re proud to welcome them. We sat down with Stephanie Vaughn, Marketing Manager at Voices for Healthy Kids, to learn more about their work and what drives their commitment to Complete Streets.

Safer Streets, Stronger Economies

What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional … Continued

Laura Jackson of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield on creating healthier communities

Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently spoke with Laura Jackson, an Executive Vice President of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, to get her perspective on why smart growth strategies should be a priority for the health care industry and how the way we build communities can help abate rising health care costs and improve public health.

“Smart growth practices are a way to help people understand that there are certain things you can do, either low cost or no cost in many cases in communities, to live a longer healthier life,” says Jackson.

Smart growth news – January 5, 2012

Federal HUD grant drives development in East Austin
YNN (Texas) – January 4, 2012
A large plot of land in East Austin will soon be developed into a mixed-income, sustainable community, thanks to a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Fed Urges Action on Housing
Wall Street Journal – January 5, 2012
The paper said some 60 metro areas had at least 250 foreclosed properties for sale by Fannie, Freddie and federal agencies—enough to efficiently execute rental programs. About two-fifths of properties held by Fannie could produce returns that justify converting them, it said.

Why Some Cities Are Healthier Than Others
The Atlantic Cities – January 5, 2012
Metro health is closely associated with commuting patterns. Metros where greater shares of people walk and bike to work do better on the Metro Health Index (.62). Conversely, the share of people who drive to work alone is negatively associated with the Metro Health Index (-.47).

America's Bulging Waistlines and a National Need for Complete Streets

The newest release of F as in Fat notes the alarming pace of America’s obesity crisis and makes six overarching strategies to bring our waistlines into check, including the recommendation for Complete Streets laws at the state and federal level. Recent news on the impending federal transportation authorization bill, however, indicates that such a recommendation has not yet penetrated the walls of Congress.

Resources for Your CTG Application

Communities from Texas to Illinois and Pennsylvania to California are including healthy, active transportation activities in their Community Transformation Grant (CTG) application — and technical assistance from the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership can help them achieve their goals. We’ve rounded up additional resources for communities in today’s blog post.

Webinar: Preventing Roadway Fatalities and Injuries (Part 4)

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is launching a 4-part webinar series in 2011 addressing the impact of transportation systems on health outcomes. From APHA: Join us for this series that explores the intersections between health and transportation, highlights innovative state and local programs that leverage opportunities in transportation that benefit health, and explains what … Continued

Webinar: Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in Transportation (Part 3)

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is launching a 4-part webinar series in 2011 addressing the impact of transportation systems on health outcomes. From APHA: Join us for this series that explores the intersections between health and transportation, highlights innovative state and local programs that leverage opportunities in transportation that benefit health, and explains what … Continued