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Urban Design-Policy and Zoning to Facilitate Physical Activity

Resources and Tools


  • Community Design: A Toolkit for Building Physical Activity into Daily Life (Metropolitan Design Center)
    This toolkit is designed to help communities promote physical activity and addresses the importance of environment, application tools and resources, and community design elements (e.g., density, street pattern, mixed-use, and pedestrian infrastructure).

  • Active Living by Design Resources (North Carolina Institute for Public Health)
    This database of Active Living resources is searchable by resource type (e.g. fact sheets, toolkits, etc.), topic (e.g. bicycle, pedestrian, etc.), or the 5 P’s (preparation, programs, policy, promotion, and physical projects). The resources help communities work towards access to Active Living, which is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines.

  • Leadership for Healthy Communities Resources (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
    This resource compiles a wide variety of resources, including fact sheets, issue briefs, reports, presentations and other materials. These publications and materials are designed to underscore promising policies and programs dedicated to promoting healthy eating, active living and childhood obesity prevention. This Leadership for Healthy Communities organization also publishes regular newsletters that highlight leaders, promising policy approaches, and relevant research.

  • Complete the Streets Resources (National Complete Streets Coalition)
    This site has a variety of materials addressing many aspects of multi-use streets. The resources that help spread the word about complete streets policies include brochures, reports, presentations, fact sheets and design guidance.

  • Talking Points: Community Design for Healthy Living (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
    These talking points highlight why state legislators should be concerned about the impact of community design on residents’ mental and physical health.

  • Land Use Planning for Public Health (National Association of Local Boards of Health)
    This guide assists members of local boards of health and other public health professionals to understand their important role in protecting local environmental health and improving the health of their communities through land use planning.

  • Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving (Active Living Resources)
    Study circles or small-group, democratic discussions led by a neutral facilitator help participants consider different sides of a neighborhood issue, listen and share views, and look for new solutions to the neighborhood’s problems so that they can build a stronger community.

  • Smart Talk for Growing Communities (Congressional Exchange)
    This series of five lessons addresses the “growing pains” of rapidly growing or sprawling communities. The toolkit helps community members move from an understanding of the issues to effective action with government leaders.