Neighborhoods are the building blocks for healthy communities. Each neighborhood should include village centers, accessible parks, and community schools. Infrastructure that encourages connected communities by walking and bicycling will positively impact the health of a community. Healthy communities include sidewalks designed for handicap access and on-road bicycle accommodations connecting off-road trails. The transformation of cities from urban blight to residential havens is doable. The spark plugs for igniting energies need to power walking and bicycling in our neighborhoods. We can “take back” our city block by block by supporting safe routes to school, encouraging neighborhood walk and watch organizations, implementing safe off-road transportation corridors -– greenways — and providing defined on-road walking and biking facilities. Change policy and practices that encourage people to get fat. Instead, let us work together to break down barriers and build bridges between neighborhoods, communities and the state.
–Barbara Norris Duerk