Over the past decade, as obesity has continued to rise among both youth and adults, interest has grown in developing policies to promote community environments that support healthy lifestyles.1 A broad range of local, regional, state, and federal policies under the rubrics of active living, smart growth, and sustainable development share the underlying assumption that they can help people make healthier choices. From a transportation planning perspective, the benefits of pedestrian and bicycle plans resulting from the building of infrastructure to support pedestrian and bicycle travel include improved health (for example, through increased levels of physical activity and reduced obesity), a better environment (for example, through lower carbon emissions), and a stronger economy (for example, through lower fuel bills). However, until more recently, the health benefits have not been specifically explored.
UNC School of Government
Evenson, Kelly R.; Aytur, Semra; Rodriguez, Daniel A.; and Satinsky, Sara B., "Planning for Pedestrians and Bicyclists in North Carolina." (2009). Health Management and Policy Scholarship. 12.