Before the era of suburbanization, communities were built on a human scale and were dense, compact, and walkable. Walkable urbanism all but ended with the advent of post-World War II’s sprawling development patterns and the construction of superhighways. A neglect of community-design principles, lack of pedestrian-oriented infrastructure, and compartmentalized built environments have led to sedentary lifestyles and escalating rates of obesity and related diseases.
Designing communities that support active living and promote daily physical activity is a powerful way to create healthier communities. The Active Living Adobe Spark Page conveys how local governments, along with interdisciplinary community partners, can influence the extent to which residents are physically active through careful crafting of land use plans, public policies, and changes to the built environment. Focus areas for active living include active transportation modes such as walking and biking, community design, school-based physical activity, and parks and recreation programs.