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Indiana's Active Transportation Conference - Nov. 13, 14

When many people think about "Indianapolis" and "transportation" they are likely to see visions of high-powered cars racing around and around a circular track like greyhounds chasing a fake bunny.

This is an image that the state's public health community is eager to overcome. Health By Design, a group based in central Indiana, is bringing together community design, transportation and health experts to promote healthy and active living in the region.

Health By Design is behind this year's groundbreaking conference on how Indiana's built environment directly affects the state's pressing public health problems, particularly the symptoms of an inactive lifestyle.

"Striding Toward Healthy Communities: Indiana's Active Transportation Conference," Nov. 13 and 14, is designed to educate attendees on the programs and policies that achieve walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods, and to inspire action in local communities around the state.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has become a leading figure in highlighting the connection between the health of all Americans and the availability of options to walk and bike in our built environments. And the enormous success of rail-trail projects (like Indiana's Monon Trail, below) in providing this option has made rail-trail development an effective public health intervention.

"Health professionals see all the time that poor planning and automobile-centric environments are often the biggest obstacle to people being able to walk or bike for everyday trips," says Tina Jones MPH, RTC's Healthy Communities Manager and a member of the Partnership for Active Transportation. "No matter how much someone might want to bike to work, or walk to their local grocery store, if there isn't a safe and convenient way to do that then we're all back in the car. It is important that local transportation planners build environments that offer better, healthier, more efficient options to get around."

At Indiana's Active Transportation Conference, national experts and advocates will explore smart growth and active transportation programs and policies, and how they have been used successfully in other areas of the country to increase physical activity, create safer, more accessible places, and to advance community and economic development.

The target audience is community leaders, city and transportation planners, engineers, landscape architects, developers, public health practitioners, and anyone interested in achieving walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods. For more information, and to register, visit www.healthbydesignonline.org/12Conf

Photo of Monon Trail, IN, courtesy of www.traillink.com/barry ladwig



Posted Tue, Nov 6 2012 1:00 PM by Jake Lynch

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