The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just launched a new campaign to promote active community environments, and it’s amazing! The Active People, Healthy Nation campaign represents the culmination of decades of work by the CDC to advance a bold goal of getting 27 million Americans more active by the year 2027 in an effort to meet the updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Active People, Healthy Nation pulls together a virtual encyclopedia of research, strategies and tools for community stakeholders to use in advancing healthy places and people.
A major strategy for getting people more active is to ‘engineer’ the built environment so that getting routine physical activity is built into daily life. People living in communities with an abundance of walkable and bikeable streets, parks and green space, and key destinations within walking distance
As part of this effort, Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) is joining forces with the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) and others on the new Illinois State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, a project funded by CDC. The grant allows IPHI to collaborate with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter (APA-IL), local health departments and not-for-profit organizations like Active Trans in making the built environment better for walking and biking. The initiative will focus on three regions in the state: Chicago and suburban Cook County, Peoria/Tazewell/Woodford Tri-County Region and Jackson County.
Active Trans’ work will focus on providing technical assistance in moving pedestrian and bicycling plan recommendations from the printed page into action. Strategies such as grant writing, stakeholder engagement, intergovernmental collaboration, best practices training and community accountability are planned.