Implementing the Active Living by Design (ALbD) community action model, a community partnership in Omaha has successfully moved in five years from: (a) establishing its brand identity and community awareness of active living; to (b) implementing innovative programming; and (c) policy and infrastructure change that can have a large-scale impact. Its success, according to an article by a team from state and local health and education agencies, has been due to skillful leveraging of its partners’ assets and a critical evaluation component of each step taken.
Omaha, Neb. is a city built for cars. According to a 2004 community health report card, more than half of the residents were too heavy and only 23 percent participated in vigorous activity each week. When Activate Omaha (AO) was founded with an ALdB grant, there was a need to raise awareness of active lifestyles and change the built environment to make it more walker- and biker-friendly. AO targeted the entire 400,000+ population of Omaha.
Critical data-driven evaluation of its efforts and learning to appropriately leverage and manage the resources, viewpoints and constituency of partners have helped AO work effectively. The result is that AO has established itself as a significant resource in healthy lifestyle promotion and is poised to create large-scale sustainable change for the Omaha community.