Concerned about high pedestrian injury rates, residents of Cutler and Orosi in Tulare County, California identified and implemented solutions through a series of community wide forums, focus groups, and workshops. Participants included representatives from church organizations, local activist groups, and local residents of the area. CALTrans provided funding through its community planning projects—community wide initiatives to make California communities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly through traffic calming measures. Since a majority of the residents are Spanish-speaking, events were conducted in both English and Spanish and translators were also provided. Outcomes of the planning project include: 1) Reduced risk of pedestrian injury by improving sidewalks (getting around; parks and open space), 2) Increased opportunities for physical activity not only by sidewalk improvement but also through the creation of bike lanes on major roads (getting around; parks and open space), which can reduce the risk of chronic disease, and 3) Increased accountability by establishing of a nonprofit vision committee, charged with implementation of the final recommendations (participation and willingness to act for the common good).

This community example was written with funding from The California Endowment.

From: THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments

References: The Designing for Active Recreation Fact Sheet (PDF) summarizes the scientific studies from the health field about the types of environments that are "activity friendly," and summarizes the current state of research into the way community design is related to whether people walk or bicycle to get to where they're going.