March 2005

Grant Results

SUMMARY

The Local Government Commission, an organization of locally elected officials working for healthier communities, held two national conferences, each titled New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities.

Key Results

  • The commission convened its first national conference January 24–26, 2002, in San Diego.

    The 970 participants from 40 states and six countries included public health professionals and health advocates, developers, planners, local elected officials, city and county staff, architects, realtors, parks and recreation professionals, advocates for seniors, educators and youth.

    The conference aimed to educate a broad range of practitioners about how to redesign neighborhoods to create healthy, safe environments that allow for physical activity.
  • The commission's second national conference, held January 30–February 1, 2003 in New Orleans, focused on the connections among land use, planning, transportation, public safety and public health.

    More than 725 people from diverse sectors attended.

    Both conferences featured keynote sessions, breakouts, workshops, plenaries and tours of model projects in the host cities.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the 2002 conference with a grant of $33,950 and the 2003 conference with a grant of $38,157. Thirteen other organizations provided financial or in-kind support for the 2002 conference and 14 for the 2003 conference (see the Appendix for a list of supporters).

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THE PROBLEM

The design of many American communities makes it difficult for people to engage in regular physical activity. Land use planners and developers occasionally make health an explicit feature of their projects but this is uncommon. For health considerations to become the standard rather than the exception, local governments must change their planning practices, according to the project director.

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RWJF STRATEGY

Promoting healthy communities and lifestyles is one of RWJF's goals areas. One of RWJF's strategies to meet this goal has been to find ways to increase physical activity (primarily walking and biking) through community design and redesign. It has supported the creation of walking and biking trails in many communities and has started the Active Living by Design national program, to infuse activity-promoting goals and processes into ongoing community planning efforts, and to support the development and testing of local community active living projects, with special efforts to reach low-income Americans.

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THE PROJECT

The Local Government Commission, composed of locally elected officials, provides technical assistance and networking opportunities to communities striving to create healthy, walkable and resource-efficient communities.

The commission convened its first national conference January 24–26, 2002, in San Diego. The 970 participants from 40 states and six countries included public health professionals and health advocates, developers, planners, local elected officials, city and county staff, architects, realtors, parks and recreation professionals, advocates for seniors, educators and youth. The conference aimed to educate a broad range of practitioners about how to redesign neighborhoods to create healthy, safe environments that allow for physical activity.

The commission's second national conference, held January 30–February 1, 2003 in New Orleans, focused on the connections among land use, planning, transportation, public safety and public health. More than 725 people from diverse sectors attended. Both conferences featured keynote sessions, breakouts, workshops, plenaries and tours of model projects in the host cities.

RWJF funds partially supported these activities:

  • A mini-charrette at the 2003 conference. A charrette is a process, led by architects and other land use experts, where a city or community involves all stakeholders in a potentially sensitive land use issue to obtain consensus on the project.
  • Inviting several dozen high school youth to participate in special programs at both conferences on designing healthy, livable communities.

You may order audiotapes from the conferences online.

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AFTER THE GRANT

The Local Government Commission held a third national conference on January 22–24, 2004, in Portland, Ore., and plans a fourth conference for January 27–29, 2005, in Miami Beach, Fla. In 2003, RWJF awarded the commission a grant for "Developing Local Leaders for Active Living by Community Design" (ID# 049309) as part of its Active Living Leadership national program.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Conference on Building Safe, Healthy, Livable Communities

Grantee

Local Government Commission (Sacramento,  CA)

  • Amount: $ 33,950
    Dates: September 2001 to August 2002
    ID#:  043128

  • Amount: $ 38,157
    Dates: October 2002 to September 2003
    ID#:  046977

Contact

Michele Kelso
(916) 448-1198
mkelso@lgc.org

Web Site

http://www.lgc.org

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

APPENDIX: 2002 and 2003 Conference Supporters

2002 Conference Supporters

  • American Planning Association, in-kind
  • American Society of Landscape Architects, in-kind
  • California Department of Transportation, $40,000
  • Federal Highway Administration's TCSP Program, $10,000
  • National Association of Realtors, $10,000
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $10,000
  • Project Design Consultants, $2,500
  • RBF Consulting/Urban Design Studio, $2,500
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $33,950
  • Southern California Gas Company, $5,000
  • StateNet/California Journal, in-kind
  • Trust for Public Land, $3,000
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, $55,000
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, $10,000

2003 Conference Supporters

  • AARP, $5,000
  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in-kind
  • American Institute of Architects, in-kind
  • American Planning Association, in-kind
  • American Society of Landscape Architects, in-kind
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $25,000
  • Fannie Mae Foundation, $10,000
  • Federal Highway Administration, $20,000
  • International City/County Management Association, $2,500 inkind
  • National Association of Realtors, $10,000
  • National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, $10,000
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $10,000
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $38,175
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, $75,000
  • Urban Land Institute, in-kind

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Sponsored Conferences

First Annual "New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities," January 24–26, 2002, San Diego. Attended by 970 registrants from 40 states and six countries.

Second Annual "New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities," January 30–February 1, 2003, New Orleans. Attended by 725 registrants.

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Report prepared by: Nanci Healy
Reviewed by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Katherine M. Kraft

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