Don’t forget to submit your healthy communities idea

If you attended the 4th annual Arizona Healthy Communities Conference March 29th, you know it was an exciting day. We spent the day discussing how we can build communities of health and opportunity together. And if you stayed until the end of the day, you know that Vitalyst Health Foundation generously offered to help provide support for ideas coming out of this year’s Healthy Communities Conference. Vitalyst wants to support your work and can provide technical assistance and financial support. The foundation is offering mini-grants to help kickstart your …

Health Mapping Every ZIP Code in Arizona

Like many places across the country, Arizonans had a real “aha” moment when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the VCU Center on Society and Health released their life expectancy map for the Phoenix metro area last year. Their study showed a 14-year difference in life expectancy for zip codes that are only a fifteen-minute drive apart. These maps have been excellent at capturing people’s interest and helping them to understand that place matters to health . At the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, we’ve …

Using Complete Streets to encourage walking and bicycling

Some great lessons to take from another sunny state: Florida recently adopted a comprehensive statewide plan to implement Complete Streets. A number of cities in Arizona have Complete Streets policies, but we don’t have a statewide plan or policy.   This might sound familiar to many Arizonans: Florida’s metropolitan regions were built in the era of “forgiving design,” the theory that wide-open thoroughfares in urban areas are safer because they eliminate obstacles near the roadway. As studies have shown, this theory increases injuries and deaths, …

NYC active design lessons we can bring to Arizona

New York City might have a reputation for being one of the most walkable cities in the world, but they still are facing high rates of residents being overweight or obese. That’s why they’re rethinking city design to encourage physical activity. This great New York Times column shares how the city is designing for health by focusing on transportation, recreation, buildings and access to food. While New York City might be thousands of miles away from Arizona both geographically and metaphorically, they have a lot of good ideas that we can implement here, like creating …

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Phoenix Voters Approve Comprehensive Transportation Plan

On August 25th, Phoenix voters approved a proposed transportation plan as part of a citywide election.  The plan, called Transportation 2050, was developed by a citizen-led committee of transportation experts and community advocates, and dramatically expands investment in Phoenix for bus service, light rail construction and street improvements.  Elements of the plan include building an additional 42 miles of light rail throughout the city, providing late night bus and Dial-a-Ride service citywide, and repaving over 680 miles of arterial streets.  The plan will be funded …

What really makes us healthy?

A new video from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explains the link between health and community development in less than four minutes. The top contributors to long-term health and life expectancy may be surprising to most. As it turns out, only a fraction of what affects our health is actually related to healthcare. To truly improve outcomes, we need to look beyond healthcare at a variety of factors that impact health, and the community development sector is poised to address this challenge.