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Using Zoning Regulations to Foster Walkable Communities: Best Practices

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recognizes that combined approaches to the built environment increase physical activity. The combined approaches include interventions to improve transportation systems (such as bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian infrastructure, and street connectivity) with one or more land use or community design approaches (such as mixed use, parks and open space).

A key policy lever that communities can use to create environments that provide both transportation and land use supports for physical activity is through changes to their zoning code to be more activity friendly by design.

While zoning policy is typically under the purview of planning and zoning offices in communities, public health officials can work with the planning and zoning community to amend their long-term zoning and planning strategy to be more activity-friendly and to support more walkable communities.

Researchers at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago developed the following guides for public health decision makers and practitioners. These documents explain the roles of zoning and land use policy in fostering physical activity in communities and to provide examples and resources to help support local efforts.

The research that informs these products was supported by a grant (CA158035) from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. A contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported the translation of the research findings and the development of these practitioner-oriented products.

Components of Local Land Development and Related Zoning Policies Associated with Increased Walking: A Primer for Public Health Practitioners

This document provides a primer for public health practitioners and others interested in engaging with local planning and zoning officials. Specific community examples and links to key resources are provided through the primer along with a glossary of key terms used by the planning and zoning sectors.

 

 

Zoning Code Reforms are Associated with Walking Behaviors in a Nationwide Evaluation

This factsheet serves as a companion document to the product Components of Local Land Development and Related Zoning Policies Associated with Increased Walking: A Primer for Public Health Practitioners. This factsheet summarizes key findings from a recently completed nationwide evaluation of the relationship between zoning code reforms and both leisure time and active travel-related walking and activity.

 

 

Zoning Elements are Associated with Walking Behaviors in a Nationwide Evaluation

This factsheet serves as a companion document to the product Components of Local Land Development and Related Zoning Policies Associated with Increased Walking: A Primer for Public Health Practitioners. This factsheet summarizes key findings from a recently completed nationwide evaluation of the relationship between zoning elements supportive of walking and both leisure time and active travel-related walking.