Neighborhood-Scale Planning Tools to Create Active, Livable Communities

Sprawling urban development and auto-dominated streets make it nearly impossible for people to integrate walking or bicycling into their daily routines. As national physical activity levels decrease and obesity rates increase, local leaders are looking for ways to incorporate smart growth or livable communities principles into their general plans so people can safely and conveniently walk and ride a bicycle for transportation and exercise.

Community members discussing a neighborhood plan

While many communities subscribe to livability principles, local governments often encounter difficulty implementing them. All too often the broad “smart growth” objectives that are included in a general plan lack the detail and legal framework that is necessary to effectively guide actual development. As a result, development is less compact, and less conducive to walking and bicycling than was originally envisioned.This six page fact sheet offers tips, tools, and case studies to help communities align planning with the implementation of walkable community design.

Neighborhood-Scale Planning Tools to Create Active, Livable Communities (PDF, 500 KB)

Funding provided through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Program.