Healthy Community Design
What is Healthy Community Design?
Being healthy is not just about individual choices. Where we live plays an important role in determining our overall health. Healthy community design is planning and building communities that make it easier for people to live healthier lives. Our environment can greatly influence our daily choices by creating or limiting access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. If we want people to make healthy choices, we need to make sure healthy choices are easy to make.
What are the benefits of Healthy Community Design?
- Opportunities for safe Physical activity
- Access to healthy foods
- Improved air quality
- Access to safe transportation options
- Increased sense of community
Implementing Healthy Community Design in Southern Nevada?
We work with local jurisdictions, community partners, advocates, and community members to impact and support the building of healthy communities by:
- Encouraging mixed land use and greater land density to facilitate active transportation schools, parks, worksites, grocery stores, etc. SNHD partnered with City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas to enhance cross walks at various elementary schools. SNHD sponsored RTC’s bike share and supported the creation of a reduced-fare bike share pass program
- Increasing transportation alternatives like walking, or biking and public transportation. SNHD worked with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) to update the Regional Bike and Pedestrian Plan with a specific focus on equity to make walking and biking more viable as a primary transportation mode for vulnerable communities.
- Supporting complete streets that are built with all users in mind including pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users. SNHD supported the RTCs adoption of a Regional Complete Streets Study and Policy and the development of a Complete Streets Policy for the City of North Las Vegas.
- Increasing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, like sidewalks, trails & bike lanes. SNHD supported the implementation of 30 miles of bike lanes in the City of Las Vegas. These bike lane miles connected gaps in the bike lane system in and around schools, parks, and recreation centers. SNHD worked with UNLV, the City of Las Vegas, and the Nevada Minority Health & Equity coalition to create Infrastructure for Healthy Living: A Project Scoping Tool. The tool allows users to consider health and equity in local land use and transportation decisions.
- Engage with community members to improve street and sidewalk conditions, traffic safety, and health. SNHD is partnering RTC, the Nevada Department of Transportation, Clark County, and the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite, and Boulder City to share and promote walk audits in the Southern Nevada
- Increasing access to open spaces, parks, and trails. SNHD has supported efforts to increase trail way finding signage and trail mile markings in Southern Nevada and develop a trail signage guidelines policy.
- Increasing access to affordable, healthy food such as fresh fruits and vegetables at locations such as grocery stores, community gardens and farmers markets. SNHD has supported the ability of farmers markets to accept SNAP benefits, a transportation program to help low-income seniors get to farmers markets, and the implementation of Pop Up Produce Stands to increase access to healthier foods in underserved areas.
Intentionally designing communities that make healthy living easier, improves quality of life and provides healthy opportunities for everyone.