Thursday, February 21, 2013

Colorado Health Foundation Helps Three Colorado Communities Design Healthy Places

A Denver suburb, a rural town and an urban neighborhood have been selected to participate in a $4.5-million initiative sponsored by the Colorado Health FoundationArvada, Lamar and Westwood were chosen to engage in “Healthy Places: Designing an Active Colorado,” a five-year project that will help these Colorado communities become healthier places to live, work and play through a community-led process. 
Healthy Places aims to reduce and prevent obesity by fostering a built environment where it is easier to walk, play and engage in daily activities that encourage movement and connection. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that those who reside in neighborhoods where there's access to sidewalks and trails are twice as likely to get adequate physical activity. With obesity rates in Colorado growing among the state’s adult and childhood population, according to the "2011 Colorado Health Report Card," improving Coloradans' environment could be an important factor in reversing the epidemic.
From 26 requests, the Foundation selected Arvada, a northwest Denver suburb of 108,000; Lamar, an eastern plains town of 12,500; and Westwood, a southwest Denver urban neighborhood of 15,500. From March until May 2013, experts from the Urban Land Institute will work with these communities to assess needs and make recommendations to build healthy places that promote active living. Communities that complete the process may apply for funding to implement their plans.

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