Multidisciplinary Design Charrette Transforms Conventional Planning Process

Latino Health Walkability Design Community Planning

Designing healthy, complete neighborhoods requires a holistic, collaborative process, but collaboration can get messy. Charrettes are a creative way for agencies, organizations, groups, and community members to bust out of their specialist silos and work together to solve community planning and design problems. Charrettes are of often intense meetings lasting multiple days. The National Charrette Institute (NCI) began training professionals in collaborative design and charrettes in 2002. In 2017, NCI partnered with the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) and MSU Extension. Professionals, such as transportation engineers, architects, urban designers, and planners need to work together with citizens, elected officials, ...

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Lawmakers Want To Lower Speed Limits in Texas Cities

Latino Health Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety

Four Texas cities are in the top 10 nationwide cities for speed-related fatal crashes. At 40 miles per hour, 90% of people who are hit while walking do not survive, compared to only 10% at 20 mph. Latinos make up a larger portion of pedestrian fatalities than whites. Speed is the most important factor to regulate to improve pedestrian safety for Latinos and all pedestrians. On February 10, 2017, Texas State Representative Celia Israel called for passage of the Safe Neighborhood Streets Bill (HB 1368) to lower the default speed limit in urban areas by 5 miles per hour, from 30 mph to 25 mph. Decreasing the speed limit to 25 mph would increase a pedestrian's odds of surviving a collision by 43%, according to one source, and could reduce disparities in pedestrian ...

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Mind the Gap: Using Public Transportation to Connect Neighborhoods and Grocery Stores

Latino Health FArmers Market Public Transportation

Public transportation matters for healthy food access. When grocery stores aren't close to home, which is the case in many Latino neighborhoods, people lack access to healthy food-and various other destinations. Public transportation can play a huge role in connecting families in disadvantaged areas to healthy resources to build a culture of health for everyone. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership developed a 2-page fact sheet which identifies inequities in access and provides examples of strategies for transit agencies to connect neighborhoods and grocery stores. Safe Routes also developed a fact sheet outlining the role of transit agencies in improving food access. Check out these solutions to help transit agencies create and strengthen the connection between ...

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Soul of the Community Survey Research Brief

Latino Health Physical Activity Equity

Perceptions of place impact behavior, thus health. Think of specific places, like neighborhoods, sidewalks, and parks; specific physical activity behaviors like walking, playing, and biking; and specific health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Latino children often lack access-both real and perceived-to safe, available places to be physically active, thus their mental, physical, and emotional health suffer. Literature regarding inequity in places to walk and play and subsequent health disparities is continuously growing. According to a new survey, perceptions of place also impact civic engagement. The Center for Active Design (CfAD) analyzed data from the Soul of the Community survey to explore the relationship between qualities of place and civic ...

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Toolkit: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School

Morning physical activity boosts health and academic success! A walking school bus program increases pedestrian safety, reduces neighborhood crime, increases school attendance, and reduces hydrocarbon emissions from traffic. Sadly, Latinos often lack access to safe routes to schools, parks, or other destinations, thus are disproportionately burdened by health disparities and pedestrian fatalities. You can make a difference by starting a walking school bus. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership and California Department of Health created this step-by-step guide outlining how to plan and implement a walking school bus for your school. The toolkit includes proven tools, tips and resources for a fast and easy start. Here is your toolkit - Step-by-Step: How to ...

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AllTransit Data Tools Analyze Social Benefits of Quality Transit

AllTransit represents the largest source of user-friendly transit connectivity, access, and frequency data in America, using publicly available General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data and new data created by Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and with funding from TransitCenter. AllTransit analyzes the social benefits of good transit service through the lenses of health, equity, and economic development. Users can rely on these tools to increase their understanding of the value of quality transit to improve transit and create sustainable and equitable communities. When families in disadvantaged neighborhoods have access to transit and jobs, they have greater choices between housing units and employment opportunities, and alternative transportation options connecting ...

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Neighbors and Leaders Calm Traffic on Scary Street

Neighborhood leaders and residents like Paul D. López and Fany Mendez in the Denver, Colo., neighborhood of Westwood worked together with local organizations to tackle safety concerns on Morrison Road, an arterial street that bisected their neighborhood. In addition to safety issues, they were also concerned about health, because kids can’t play and people can’t walk on busy, unsafe streets. Their efforts led to a pedestrian-activated traffic light, traffic calming features, medians, and aesthetically-pleasing infrastructure and landscaping to make the road more accessible to all. Unsafe Street Scares Kids and Families Paul D. López, the District 3 City Councilmember in Denver, Colo. (31.8% Latino), grew up a few blocks from his current office on Morrison Road, a busy main ...

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Request Traffic Calming Measure in San Antonio

Are you concerned about speeding cars in your neighborhood? Residents in San Antonio can request traffic calming measures, like speed humps, speed enforcement, signage, pavement markings and medians using the Traffic Calming Handbook. Developed by the City of San Antonio Department of Public Works, the Traffic Calming Handbook aims to improve street features to reduce the negative effect of speeding and cut through traffic. The Handbook is also available in Spanish. Improving street features to improve safety is critical to promote walking, physical activity, and overall health and wellbeing. This Handbook outlines the process a resident must go through to request a traffic calming measure. It begins by filling out a 2-page form. The first page requires information about ...

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Neighborhood Association Pushes City for More Walkable Streetscape

Nicolas Rivard and Allison Hu, urban designers in San Antonio and members of Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, learned about an upcoming street construction project that lacks walkable streetscape elements in their largely Latino neighborhood, and decided to act. The urban designers mobilized and empowered community members to get involved and request walkable streetscape elements, and the city responded by adding street trees, separated sidewalks, and landscaping. Today, through their recent project, Place Changing, the designers use “design activism” or “participatory design” processes to build urban literacy and equip residents with strategies to continue to get involved in city planning and development projects. Walkability Low in East San Antonio Neighborhood Nicolas ...

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