City Leader Uses ‘Omnibus’ to Power Up Transit and Walkability in Richmond, Virginia


Addison addressing crowd at Vision Zero event in October 2017

“I feel like my life is threatened at each intersection.” That is what Andreas Addison said about walking the streets and relying on mass transit during his #NoCarNovember experiences in Richmond, Va., where he is a city council member. He wanted safer streets and more frequent transit for his constituents. So Addison found two models he liked─a D.C. city leader’s omnibus bill (one that combines several measures into one package) for better transit, more walkability, and less car reliance, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s work to make campus safer for pedestrians. Addison then began working on an omnibus bill of his own to create a safer environment for people walking, biking, and taking the bus in Richmond. Unfair Social and Health Outcomes in Richmond Life ...

Read More

How to Get 27 Million Americans More Physically Active by 2027


Active people healthy nation

Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways a person can improve their health and quality of life, while cutting risk of at least 20 diseases and conditions. Unfortunately, too few communities are designed for walking and physical activity. Intentionally creating communities with safe routes to everyday destinations is a key strategy to increase physical activity─not only to reduce health disparities, healthcare costs, and premature death, but also to increase equitable access to opportunity to build health and wealth. That’s why the CDC launched Active People, Healthy NationSM in January 2020. The initiative will help community leaders use proven strategies to make physical activity safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. It specifically ...

Read More

James Rojas: How Latino Urbanism Is Changing Life in American Neighborhoods


James Rojas Latino Urbanism

James Rojas loved how his childhood home brought family and neighbors together. The L.A. home had a big side yard facing the street where families celebrated birthdays and holidays. Uncles played poker. Aunts tended a garden. Children roamed freely. Mexican elders—with their sternness and house dresses—socialized with their American-born descendants—with their Beatles albums and mini-skirts. Rojas was shocked to find some would look down on this neighborhood. “Why do so many Latinos love their neighborhood so much if they are bad?” he wondered. Rojas, in grad school, learned that neighborhood planners focused far more on automobiles in their designs than they did on the human experience or Latino cultural influences. He wanted to change that. Rojas has spent ...

Read More

Planners, Here’s How to Unlock Health Equity in Your Community


health equity planning from ChangeLab Solutions

Local planners have the power to help create healthy, fair communities. Unfortunately, common planning practices have contributed to the high percentage of poor people and people of color who live in unhealthy places, widening disparities in health and wealth. That's why our friends at ChangeLab Solutions created Long Range-Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity: A Primer for Local Governments. This can help planners prioritize health and equity in their work. "By integrating health and equity considerations into planning practices, planners have the power to revise past planning decisions and create healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities," ChangeLab reports. Place Matters for Health Equity Where you live matters for your health. Inequitable city planning, ...

Read More

En Español: The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


en espanol - housing transportation green spaces among latinos

Check out these new Spanish-language research materials on the alarming state of Latino housing, transportation, and green space from our team at Salud America! UT Health San Antonio. The new Spanish materials are based on an English research review earlier in 2019. The research found that, sadly, U.S. Latino communities face unaffordable housing, unreliable public transportation, and a lack of green space and parks. This limits Latinos’ access to health-promoting assets─medical care, good schools, healthy food, and physical activity. This also contributes to health inequities. Fortunately, community leaders can adopt dynamic land-use methods, public-private partnerships, and community involvement to build and revitalize Latino neighborhoods. This can create affordable ...

Read More

Amanda Merck: Propelling Civic Engagement in San Antonio and Beyond


Amanda Merck

Amanda Merck isn’t only a content curator for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a public health representative for the Active Living Council for a Healthier San Antonio, and a teacher of group classes for Fitness in the Park. She is a fighter for equitable transportation, equitable access to parks, and an advocate for children who experience trauma. Merck is a poster child for civic engagement for health equity─and she is dedicating her time and career to help countless others become civically engaged, too. ‘Never Any Talk about Civic Engagement’ Merck grew up in many different places including California, Texas, and Montana. As the daughter of a low-income, high-school dropout, working was meant to pay the bills. “There was never any talk about civic ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 12/17: How to Plan for a Safer and More Active 2020


#SaludTues Tweetchat #SafeRoutes

Much of the disparity we see in traffic deaths and chronic disease is related to how we build roads and communities. Improving safety on our streets, sidewalks, and public spaces can help address decades of disparities. Let’s use #SaludTues on Dec. 17, 2019, to tweet about how you can take time at the end of 2019 to plan for a safer and more active 2020. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How to Plan for a Safer and More Active 2020” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: America Walks (@americawalks); National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (@NADTCmobility); Safe Routes National Partnership (@SafeRoutesNow); National Complete Streets Coalition (@completestreets) OPTIONAL ...

Read More

This City Ditched its Car-Centric Traditions to Better Serve All Transportation Users


Road Diet on Union Street to include bike lanes

Fred Dock knows that, as cities grow, managing transportation gets tougher. Dock, who headed up transportation for Pasadena, Calif. (34.4% Latino), also knows many cities overly focus on reducing automobile congestion and boosting speed, thus neglect walking, biking, and transit. Two things happen in these cities. Roads become dangerous for people walking and biking, and people are forced to depend on automobiles—the dirtiest, least efficient, and most expensive mode of travel. Dock wanted to help Pasadena out of this trap. Pasadena city leaders hoped to create an integrated, multimodal transportation system with choices and accessibility for everyone. But they wouldn’t achieve this vision using current auto-centric road metrics—that’s when Dock stepped up to ...

Read More