This article examines the work of the Somerville Active Living by Design Partnership. The authors report on the partnership between Active Living by Design (ALbD) and community organizations and assess the key successes and challenges of the project.
Somerville, Mass., is a diverse, densely-populated city just outside of Boston. Almost half of fourth graders in Somerville are overweight or obese. Active Living by Design was able to build upon a history of collaborative efforts in Somerville to pursue improved walking, biking and other active-living resources.
Active Living by Design was able to spur numerous active living improvements in Somerville, in part because of the presence of strong, collaborative community organizations. Major challenges included setting and executing realistic goals, finding political champions and involving non-English speaking residents in active living projects.