The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4258.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 4:50 PM

Abstract #74096

Generating the political will to address the health impacts of sprawl

Don Chen, Executive Director, Smart Growth America, 1200 18th Street, NW, Ste. 801, Washington, DC 20036, 202-207-3356,

Mounting evidence links urban form and routine physical activity (e.g. walking to a destination) with obesity and chronic disease. However, according to a recent Washington Post front-page article, policy responses to the rising obesity epidemic have thus far only targeted nutrition, recreation and exercise programs, and sedentary behaviors like television and computer usage. Few elected officials have sought to transform their communities to make it more convenient and appealing for people to walk and cycle to their everyday destinations. Fewer still have opposed sprawling development patterns because of their contribution to automobile-dependent and sedentary lifestyles. This presentation will review the policy making and leadership actions taken to address the health impacts of sprawl across the nation. It will identify some of the most promising political opportunities for linking these issues, and will offer recommendations about how to generate greater political will and leadership to support smart growth reforms.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Urban Health, Planning

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Executive Director, Smart Growth America

Built Environment Institute III. Identifying successes and challenges toward healthy community design and sustainable growth from multiple perspectives Policy, Politics, Research, Planning and Development

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA