Dear Mayor Walsh: Embrace Healthy Community Design

In the 100 days counting down to a new Mayor of Boston, the Menino administration is offering ideas and insight to help Mayor-elect Walsh — and all of us — make a smooth transition.

On December 10, the Next Boston blog encouraged the new mayor to embrace Healthy Community Design.

Excerpts from that post:

Embracing Health in All Policies

The health of the City of Boston is about so much more than just medical care. While our city has world-class medical resources, where we live, learn, work and play also have a significant impact on shaping  our health and well-being. Community design and public policies affect our access to physical activity, nutritious food, healthy housing, good jobs, clean air, and safe public places.

The “Health in All Policies” approach has two basic ideas.  First, incorporate health considerations into decision-making across all the agencies and organizations that influence community design, including transportation and development. Second, engage residents, who best understand the community context, into these processes. City departments and private developers are already leading the way in this effort. Ongoing projects include:

This year, in partnership with the Boston Society of Architects, we launched the Fit City Boston initiative which brings together planners, architects, developers, public officials, academics and residents to explore how physical activity can be supported by the design of our streets and buildings. At the Fit City Summit in May, 100 participants brainstormed ideas. At a November workshop, designers, public health officials and residents applied these concepts to community spaces in Mattapan, which will be used to inform upcoming planning processes.

Mayor Menino, thanks for the shout out to Fit City!

Click on the graphic below to read the full post.

healthy communities design image

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