4 Policy Levers for MPOs to Promote Physical Activity and Health


Latino Health Walkability Active Living Planning Transportation
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How we get around each day shapes our physical and mental health, and overall quality of life. Walkable communities are consistently found to be healthier communities.

Demand for walkability has steadily increased. Regional transportation planning agencies and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) play a critical role in planning and constructing more convenient, attractive, and safe places to walk or bike for transportation, recreation, and/or health because they are the gatekeepers of billions of transportation dollars.

The American Public Health Association and Transportation for America developed a policy paper outlining four policy levers for MPOs to prioritize health in their plans, projects, and policies to decrease health disparities and increase access to local resources.

The four policy levers are:

  • Dedicated funding for active transportation
  • Performance measures to better assess project benefits
  • Planning and policies that support regional centers
  • Improved data and measuring what matters

“The benefits of increased physical activity abound: reduced risk of chronic diseases, longer lifespans, improved mental health, fewer visits to the doctor, and reduced demand on overstressed healthcare systems, to name just a few. All of these have direct fiscal benefits for taxpayers and the local, state, and federal governments. Healthier residents are a vital building block of a stronger local economy. Finding ways to improve the health of the most vulnerable populations — the people most likely to suffer from poor health outcomes — creates a foundation of shared and sustainable prosperity.”

Download a free pdf of Measuring What We Value: Policies to prioritize public health and build prosperous regions.

Share this with elected officials and your local planning agency.


By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos live within walking distance (<1 mile) of a park

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