New Jersey Leaders Get a Lesson in Activity-Friendly Community Design

New Jersey Mayors' Institute on Community Design conferences

New Jersey mayors play a key role in decisions regarding land use planning and design in their communities; yet, many lack good information about the connection between community design and public health.

During 2003 and 2004, the New Jersey office of the Regional Plan Association held three community design institutes for New Jersey mayors and a one-day Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools conference for mayors and others involved with the schools.

The events focused on creating environments where children and adults can easily walk, bike or be physically active. The association also provided follow-up technical assistance for pilot projects to improve bicycle and pedestrian environments in two communities.

Key Results

  • Resource teams of experts, working with the mayors at the institutes, identified six strategies for addressing community design challenges.

  • Design teams, working on the two pilot projects, made detailed recommendations to each community on improving pedestrian and bicycle access and reducing traffic speed and volume.

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