The way that our communities are built shapes our health. How easy or difficult it is for us to be healthy, depends on the policies governing the places where we live, work, learn and play. For decades now, inadequately designed streets and intersections, lack of sidewalks or poor upkeep of sidewalks, limited parks and open space, neighborhood safety, lack of public transportation options and poorly planned housing development has resulted in communities that aren’t conducive to physical activity. All of these factors contribute to the region’s alarming rates of obesity and create a deterrent in our ability to walk, bike or be physically active.
Deeper challenges exist in communities throughout the region. Under-resourced communities, rural communities and in particular, communities of color, have fewer resources and green spaces to support physically active lifestyles and safe places to play. This inequity results in higher rates of obesity and other related chronic conditions.
Through Cultiva La Salud’s work, schools and communities are working together to help improve physical activity opportunities by unlocking school space during the evenings and weekends for community use. Planners and developers are working with community leaders to update general plans that include health elements. City governments are adopting healthy eating, active living resolutions and proclamations. Parks and recreation departments are partnering with communities, police departments and animal control to clean up parks and recreational spaces. Transportation departments are working to develop sidewalks, bike lanes, walking paths and other public transportation routes.
Learn more about how you can make a difference…