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SHARED USE AND SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
As we all know, a community's health is largely influenced by social factors such as education, economic opportunity, conditions of neighborhoods as well as access to healthy food, safe spaces to recreate, reliable transportation and quality housing.
This month, we focus on two community driven strategies to improve the wellbeing of Arizonans: expanding the community use of recreation and gathering facilities and creating a safer, more active way for how our kids can get to and from school.
A strategy termed shared use, sometimes called joint use, is spreading in communities throughout the US and in Arizona.
Shared use occurs when some entity (government, public, private, nonprofit, faith-based or any other) agrees to open up and increase access to their facilities to the greater community. For example, through shared use, schools can open up their facilities and grounds to provide safe spaces to play and gather when other spaces are lacking, unsafe, or in poor condition.
As Change Lab Solutions notes, shared use is a creative and resourceful solution to meet community need and improve health in neighborhoods. Rather than create new resources, an endeavor that is both time and resource-intensive, shared use leverages assets in neighborhoods and fosters mutually beneficial partnerships to maximize the potential of existing community spaces. Importantly, we must recognize that low-income communities and communities of color often have the fewest resources for physical activity. These inequities in access to recreational space are reflected in disparities in health outcomes. Shared use can be an effective strategy for reducing race- and income-based health disparities.
AALC has supported local work Shared use work such as the Maricopa County Shared Use Initiative since 2014.
Shared use Summit 2.0
Building on the success of the first ever Shared Use Summit in 2016, which presented a unique funding opportunity, this year's event will feature an exciting look at the progress and experiences of the six grantees participating in the 2016-2017 Maricopa County Shared Use Initiative. Take a deeper dive into their successes and challenges as they have paved the way for shared use growth in their communities.
The Shared Use Summit 2.0 is a free event that will take place in Phoenix on June 28th 9am - 3pm. The summit will be an opportunity to explore the latest developments in the shared use movement across Maricopa County and the state.
The summit offers a unique, once-a-year opportunity to:
Register Now! Space is Limited!
- Learn how the community use of school district owned recreation and gathering spaces such as playgrounds, gyms, gardens and classrooms can improve the health and well-being of communities
- Stay on the cutting edge of the shared use movement and hear updates on the latest research findings, policy innovations and in-the-community shared use initiatives currently taking place across Arizona
- Network with experts, change-makers and others involved in creating healthier, more engaged, vibrant communities
- Collaborate and learn from others to tackle the tough issues and identify new opportunities through interactive breakout sessions
- Get ready to make underutilized spaces the gem of your community!
Safe Routes to School
On a related note, Safe Routes to School focuses on a safer, healthier way to get to school. Improving children’s safety while walking and bicycling is a central mission of Safe Routes to School. Program benefits stretch beyond the school day. SRTS resources & activities help communities:
Moreover, Safe Routes to School aligns with Vision Zero, a traffic safety policy that takes an ethical approach toward achieving safety for all road users, setting the goal of zero traffic fatalities or severe injuries. Vision Zero differs from the traditional roadway safety paradigm. It holds that traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable and focuses attention on the shortcomings of the transportation system itself, including the built environment, policies, and technologies that influence behavior.
- Build sidewalks, bicycle paths & pedestrian-friendly infrastructure
- Reduce speeds in school zones & neighborhoods
- Address distracted driving among drivers of all ages
- Educate generations on pedestrian & bicycle safety
Safe Routes to School programs can succeed in rural communities as well. Ensuring that schoolchildren can get the benefits of walking and bicycling to school in rural communities requires dealing with some challenges and barriers that may be different than in other areas.This tipsheet delves into these issues. It describes the needs for and benefits of Safe Routes to School in rural areas, explores the challenges that may arise, spells out specific approaches that show promise, and showcases successful rural examples.
Learn more through the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
A RESOURCE TO HELP
In the light of our discussions on Shared use and Safe Routes, the Active School Neighborhood Checklist (ASNC) is a quantitative tool for evaluating the walkability and bikeability of existing schools or proposed school sites, as well as the potential long-term physical activity-related health impacts on the children who attend them. The logic of ASNC is based on existing research that the built environment can have an effect on either encouraging or preventing people of all ages from walking and bicycling safely to various destinations.
By selecting walkable school sites – or upgrading existing schools and neighborhoods – we allow and encourage students to safely walk and bicycle to school, and provide them with more opportunities to be physically active.
Bridging Climate Change and Public Health
May 18th, 8:30am - 4pm
Desert Willow Conference Center
4340 East Cotton Center Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Click here to RSVP.
This is an all-day meeting hosted by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Arizona Dept. Of Health Services, but is open to any interested participants. This meeting intends to convene and engage community partners in an effort to address environmental concerns affecting the health and well-being of our community. The goal is to foster a diverse multi-sector collaboration to advance climate and health mitigation and improvement. The morning session will be spent discussing how to operationalize this within our community and how it might align with your organization's goals and objectives. The afternoon session will include the AZ Heat Planning Workshop.
Healthy Community Design Workshop
May 24, 8:30am-3:00pm
Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale
4415 East Paradise Village Parkway South, Phoenix
Why Should I Attend?
- Explore the relationship between a healthy community and design of the physical environment
- Focus on the design elements of the physical environment
- Engage with public and private sector professionals, including public health, city planning, architecture, landscape design and engineering
- Understand the importance and influence of health impact assessments (HIAs)
Who Should Attend?
Planners, Landscape Architects, Architects, Engineers, Public Health Professionals, Policy Analysts, Health Care Providers, Health Equity Advocates
Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities
and Small Towns
Date/Time: May 10, 11:00-Noon (Arizona Time)
Host: American Walks
Not all communities face the same opportunities and challenges in promoting walking and other forms of physical activity. Join America Walks for a look at walking and walkable communities in rural communities and small towns, exploring resources, toolkits and projects from walking champions working in this area.
New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming- 2017 Call for Proposals
Application Deadline: May 16, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ET
New Connections is a career development program for early career researchers, providing support to grantees and other individuals who are part of a network of eligible researchers. Through grantmaking, mentorship, career development and networking, New Connections enhances the research capacity of its grantees and network members. The researchers in this program come from multiple disciplines (health, social sciences, business, urban planning, architecture and engineering); work to build the case for a Culture of Health with strong qualitative and quantitative research skills; and produce and translate timely research results.