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21st Century Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Communities through General Plans and the Healthy Community Design Toolkit.

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Presentation on theme: "21st Century Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Communities through General Plans and the Healthy Community Design Toolkit."— Presentation transcript:

1 21st Century Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Communities through General Plans and the Healthy Community Design Toolkit

2 Partnering for Success Cynthia Melde, MS, Arizona Department of Health Services Vincent Lopez, Maricopa County Department of Public Health Felipe Zubia, AICP, ReSEED Advisors Serena Unrein, Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Dean Brennan, FAICP

3 Partnering for Success Linking Physical Environment & Health Of Community Residents Policy And Community Change Transportation Issues And Policy Change Process For Policy Change Toolkit For Policy Change

4 Cynthia Melde, MS, Arizona Department of Health Services At the Intersection: Transit and Public Health

5 What is Health? Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity - World Health Organization

6 2000 Obesity Trends* Among U.S. Adults BRFSS, 1990, 2000, 2010 (*BMI  30, or about 30 lbs. overweight for 5’4” person) 2010 1990 No Data <10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%

7 Modes of Transportation and Obesity

8 Factors Responsible for Health

9 Physical Activity and Fitness Public Transit Users: ▫Spend a median of 19 minutes daily walking to and from transit ▫29 percent achieve 30 minutes of physical activity during transit access trips ▫Tend to weigh 3-7 lbs less than non-transit users

10 Respiratory Emissions Bus idling Older diesel buses Bus Depots in lower income neighborhoods Concentration near major roadways Reduce number of vehicles on the road Use Electric or state of the art engine Emission reduction programs

11 Injury Transit vehicle occupants have about one-tenth the fatality rate as car occupants Per capita traffic fatalities decline as transit ridership increases in a community

12 Community Cohesion Increase opportunity for interaction while walking, waiting at bus stops, and riding on transit vehicles Helps increase connections and contacts between neighbors Increase neighborhood safety

13 Mental Health Many commuters find public transportation less stressful than driving Increase interaction Access Access educational and work opportunities Affordability Lower cost for transportation

14 Basic Mobility: Essential Services Particularly for disabled and disadvantaged ▫Health Equity Connect to ▫Grocery Store ▫Healthcare Providers ▫Banking ▫Education ▫Social and Recreational activities

15 YOU are Public Health

16 Policy and Built Environment Maricopa County Department of Public Health Office of Public Health Policy Vincent Lopez

17 Social Isolation Negative Health Outcomes Acute and chronic stress Increased vulnerability to natural disasters and epidemics Mental illness Substance abuse Reduced life expectancy Violence Relation to Built Environment Neighborhood Design Long commutes Few public gathering spaces Lack of access to goods and services Transportation Lack of access to public transit Housing Housing instability promotes highly transient home occupancy Policy Recommendations Zoning Promote increased public space, walkable neighborhoods, and mixed- use development Redevelopment Develop public venues, including parks, open spaces, libraries, cultural facilities, and pedestrian corridors Parks & Recreation Improve parks, recreation facilities and open spaces for community mingling

18 Unsafe Streets Negative Health Outcomes Injuries and fatalities Inactivity and associated outcomes including obesity Stress Relation to Build Environment Street Design Focus on auto use yields fewer lanes for bicycles, high traffic speed and congestion, noise pollution and inadequate sidewalks Ped & Bike Features Lack of or poorly maintained pedestrian wheelchair, and stroller amenities such as walkways, crosswalks Policy Recommendations Zoning Ensure zoning for bicycle and pedestrian routes Redevelopment Develop pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure in project areas Schools Safe Routes to Schools Parks & Recreation Ensure safe streets, walkways, and bike paths around parks or open spaces

19 Lack of Physical Activity Negative Health Outcomes Attention deficit disorder Cancer Depression Diabetes Heart disease Obesity Stress Stroke Relation to Built Environment Community Access Limited or no open space or parks School land unavailable after school hours Safety Concerns Poorly Maintained parks Outdoor activity limited by air pollution Auto Dependency Time spent commuting diminishes time for other activity Policy Recommendations Zoning Adopt mixed-use residential, commercial and office zoning Adopt complete streets design guidelines Transportation Expand Safe Routes to School programs Park and Recreation Ensure safe, well- maintained parks Schools Joint use agreements

20 Unsafe Neighborhoods Negative Health Outcomes Lack of outdoor or physical activity due to fear of crime Social isolation Stress Violence Relation to Built Environment Neighborhood Design Spatially and racially segregated housing Limited access to essential services Lack of parks or safe places to play and congregate Concentration of alcohol and tobacco retailers Policy Recommendations Zoning Require developers to provide for a mix of housing types and affordability level Redevelopment Rehabilitate blighted properties Transportation Safe transportation option Parks & Recreation Access to parks and recreational facilities in underserved communities

21 Polluted Air, Soil and Water Negative Health Outcomes Asthma Birth defects Cancer Heart disease Lung disease Neurological disorders Reproductive disorders Relation to Built Environment Proximity of sensitive sites (schools, housing pedestrian and bike paths, parks and recreation) to sources of air pollution Lack of green space or trees to buffer or filter pollution Auto-orientated housing development Policy Recommendations General & Area Plans Promote transit- oriented and compact, mixed-use development Zoning Update building codes to incorporate green building principles

22 Modern city planning and public health arose together in the rapidly growing industrialized cities of the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. Early planners first began to zone city blocks to buffer residential neighborhoods from polluting industries, and sanitary sewers were built to prevent cholera epidemics. Partnership/Collaboration

23 Partnership/Collaboration Opportunities with Public Health

24 General Plans & Transportation Policy Serena Unrein Arizona PIRG Education Fund

25 Impacts of Policy Decisions Impacts of our policies (or lack of policies) in recent years: ▫High transportation costs ▫Long commutes ▫Loss of desert landscape ▫Increase in the urban heat island effect ▫Fewer affordable housing choices ▫Etc. These problems negatively affect public health, economic development, and quality of life in Arizona.

26 Arizona’s explosive growth in recent years + a lack of policies supporting livable communities __________________________________ = Negative impacts for Arizona residents

27 So how do we change course? To solve these problems, long-term systemic change and a variety of efforts will be needed. General plans are a good opportunity to implement policies supporting livable communities

28 What are General Plans? A general plan is a comprehensive, long-range statement of goals and related policies ▫Blueprint for the future growth and development Consists of seventeen different “elements” ▫Transportation Required by state law Must be updated every 10 years Many counties, cities, and towns updating now ▫Have until 2015 to complete update

29 Livable Communities Coalition Who is the Livable Communities Coalition? ▫The LCC’s mission is to promote livable communities through education and advocacy. ▫The LCC unites a broad range of planning, transportation, housing, and environmental organizations and government agencies from throughout Arizona

30 LCC’s Vision for Arizona Mixed land uses Preserve community character Environmentally responsive design Range of housing types and prices Variety of transportation choices Encourage compact development Viable economic mix of both local business and national ones Safe neighborhoods Promoting healthy living Community engagement

31 How can the LCC help? The LCC role in General Plans ▫Work directly in 4 municipalities ▫Provide resources for other communities across the state ▫Healthy Community Design Toolkit LCC Members ▫Expertise from a variety of fields and issue areas

32 Arizona’s Future Do we want to go down the same path we’ve been going down?

33 Our Opportunity Let’s use General Plans and other opportunities to create better policies and a better quality of life for Arizona.

34 /portland-place.jpg Transportation – Land Use Connection Relationship between land use and transportation is at the center of smart growth strategies. Direct link between land use patterns and investment in transportation facilities. -sprawl-florida-428x284.jpg urces/images/Mosaic_Condominium.jpg

35 Complete Streets History Barbara McCann – Smart Growth America 2003 Complete Streets Definition 2005 National Complete Streets Coalition COMPLETE STREETS are: “Designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.” Barbara McCann speaks to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about Complete Streets. photo by Steve Davis:

36 AARP Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America American Planning Association Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Practices T4 America Dangerous By Design Complete Streets  History  Definition  Partnerships Partnerships

37 Why Safety, Public Health Resource Protect Community Building Goals/Benefits Promote adoption of local, regional, state and federal design policies Secure funding Improve Safety Contribute to a Health Community Ease Congestion Improve Air Quality Missoula, MT Partnerships

38 1.Determine Context a.Urban, Suburban, Rural, Neighborhood 2.Identify Current Modes and Facilities a.Inventory Facilities 3.Identify Complete Streets Gaps a.Bike/Ped, Transit Gaps 4.Determine Additional Priorities a.Green Streets, Economic Development, Historic Preservation 5.Determine Right-of-Way and Lanes a.Multimodal Design 6.Identify Additional Elements a.Lighting, Shade, Signage, Street Furniture, other enhancements MAG Complete Streets Guideh Complete-Streets-Guide-December-2010.pdf Planning Process

39 Success Stories Complete Streets Bridgeport Way – University Place, WA Before After

40 Success Stories Complete Streets La Jolla Blvd. – San Diego, CA Before After

41 Success Stories Complete Streets Curb and Bike Lane – Boulder, CO Before After

42 Arizona Success Story Avondale, AZ – Western Avenue 4-Lane Road with Center Lane Designed to Move Traffic Lack of Visual Interest Under-utilized Parcels Lack of Pedestrian Amenities Complete Streets

43 IMPLEMENTATION Arizona Success Story Avondale, AZ – Western Avenue Reduced to 2 Lane Road with no Center Lane Merging of Visioning with Engineering Design

44 IMPLEMENTATION Arizona Success Story Avondale, AZ – Western Avenue Reduced to 2 Lane Road with no Center Lane Merging of Visioning with Engineering Design New Development Maintain historic setbacks creating visual interest Multi-Modal Design Overall integration of Vision and Design

45 Resources cs/resources/cs- cs/resources/cs- P_2011-01-25_MAG-Complete-Streets- Guide-December-2010.pd P_2011-01-25_MAG-Complete-Streets- Guide-December-2010.pd

46 Toolkit for Policy Change Dean Brennan, FAICP Project for Livable Communities

47 This neighborhood provides no connectivity for walking to the store, to work, to school, to the park, or to ride public transit. This street lacks shade and protection for pedestrians from vehicular traffic. Walking Today…It’s a Challenge


49 Regional structure Density and intensity Land use mix Street connectivity Street scale Aesthetic qualities Dimensions of Community Design that Affect Physical Activity

50 Rethinking State and Local Planning Comprehensive and General Plans Regional, Area, and Neighborhood Plans Redevelopment Plans Retrofitting Suburbia

51 Functional Plans ▫ Health services ▫ Bicycle and pedestrian ▫ Transit ▫ Streets and circulation ▫ Trails ▫ Parks and Open Space ▫ Housing ▫ Economic development ▫ Education ▫ Climate Change Rethinking State and Local Planning

52 Healthy Community Design Toolkit

53 Partnering for Success Using the Toolkit The Engaged Participant/Resident Planner Review the Local Plan Plan Format How to Contact Your Local Government Who to Contact

54 Partnering for Success General Plan Checklist The Circulation Element addresses: Adoption of a Complete Streets Policy Safe Routes to School Programs Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Transportation infrastructure that provides for an interconnected system throughout the community/region that serves all residents and minimizes/mitigates impacts on neighborhoods Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities

55 Partnering for Success Example Policies The Circulation Element Establish design guidelines and/or level of service standards for a range of users, including access for the disabled and bicyclists. Incorporate the Complete Streets elements as the guiding principles for a community based Complete Streets Policy. Encourage investment in Complete Streets. Develop and implement street design guidelines that create walkable, pleasant environments. Identify street trees as an important technique for stress- and crime-reduction. Adopt universal design principles that address facilities such as sidewalks, lighting, ramps for wheelchairs and bicycles, parking in rear of buildings, and windows that face the sidewalk/ street.

56 Partnering for Success TOOLS AND TOOLKITS AARP – Complete Streets Policy Inventory and Evaluation AARP – Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide Transportation and Health Toolkit on/Toolkit.htm on/Toolkit.htm US DOT – Bikeability Checklist y/index.htm y/index.htm

57 Creating a Pedestrian Friendly Public Realm  Wide sidewalks and shared paths  Shade, shade, and more shade  Safe crosswalks  Amenities  Sense of place  Convenience  Safety & Aesthetics


59 Partnering for Success CREATE WALKABLE STREETS

60 Partnering for Success Toolkit for Policy Change QUESTIONS?

61 Partnering for Success Contact Information Cynthia Melde – Vincent Lopez – Serena Unrein – Felipe Zubia – Dean Brennan –


63 What are some of the issues you are facing in your community? Think about: ▫Walkabiltiy ▫Bikeability ▫Public Transportation ▫Access (people with disabilities, elderly)

64 Who are potential partners to work on solutions to these issues? Think about: ▫Stakeholders ▫Champions ▫Health Partners

65 What tools can you use to find solutions to these issues?

66 How can you create long-term solutions to these issues in your community?

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