Shaping Healthy Communities

Shaping Healthy Communities

Overview

The shape that we give to our city, in turn shapes us. Since America’s growth boom following WWII, the built form we began giving our cities and suburbs has molded an increasingly overweight, under-active population. Over the past several decades, public health officials have established ever-stronger links between the quality of our built environment and the startling rise of largely preventable diseases. Recognizing this relationship, NCDC’s Shaping Healthy Communities (SHC) initiative engages the causes and outcomes of health defeating community design, and seeks to influence the creation of health-promoting communities. 

The SHC Initiative originates from the 2016 NCDC publication, Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan.  Analyzing Nashville using the “transect”, an urban planning model central to the New Urbanist and smart growth movements, Shaping the Healthy Community provides a diagnosis of health promoting and health defeating aspects present across Nashville while ascribing evidence based best practices to ten unique case study locations. 

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During the creation of Shaping the Healthy Community, six key features emerged as key built environment influencers upon public health, and guide the work of the SHC Initiative. These factors are:

  1. Neighborhood Design & Development
  2. Walkability and Pedestrian Safety
  3. Transportation
  4. Open Space and Parks
  5. Housing
  6. Food Resources

 

 

Recent Projects

Alleyways of Nashville

Alleyways of Nashville

This publication shows some of the strategies that alley programs internationally have implemented in their work. Some have environmental benefits such as replacing asphalt with a more pervious material to collect water; while others have benefits for improving people's safety and perception of alleys such as providing lighting and visibility. Adopting even a few of these strategies could help transform alleys in Nashville which could becomes more active and prosperous. Most of these strategies require low maintenance, but it is important to take advantage of public space as a canvas for programming social activity. 

Fairgrounds Public Meetings Report

Fairgrounds Public Meetings Report

The Nashville Civic Design Center was asked by Mayor David Briley and the Fairgrounds Nashville Board of Directors, to facilitate a series of public meetings with the Fairgrounds Design Team, to get input in order to inform a more refined version of the Fairground Improvement Plan.

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