The goal of this project was to limit alcohol and tobacco promotion signage, increase adequate lighting, and decrease graffiti to positively influence perceptions of safety and encourage more residents to be active in the neighborhood. Utilizing digital storytelling and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), youth and adult residents documented environmental determinants that impacted safety and physical activity and presented these findings to key stakeholders. Some recommendations have been included in the Shawnee neighborhood sustainability plan. The neighborhood is experiencing decreases in blight, removal of tobacco and alcohol advertisements from storefronts by neighborhood retailers, and the city has facilitated major street repair. Furthermore, the neighborhood assessment resulted in the recognition that more factors need to be addressed as part of this work. As a result, Communities United for Health, a coalition made up of 13 diverse partners, was formed to create a "healthy zone," using the Shawnee neighborhood as a pilot. Communities United for Health has one set agenda: to create a safe and healthy community. As part of the "Healthy Zone" initiative in Louisville, the partners are working closely with youth and local businesses to encourage neighborhood residents to walk to their local grocery stores and access spaces for recreation and activity.


Community team:

  • Center for Health Equity
  • Healthy Kids Healthy Communities
  • Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness
  • Louisville Metro Office of Youth Development
  • Peace Education Program
  • Shawnee Neighborhood Association
  • Shawnee Weed & Seed Program
  • Youth