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Iowa Community Transformation

Safe and Healthy Environments

What's the point in having a safe environment?

safe and healthy env
  • In 2009, 49.6% of respondents in Iowa reported they had participated in some sort of physical activity for exercise during the past month other than their regular job.
  • "Walking with a Purpose," a tool to assess the walkability of communities, found in the fall of 2010 that across the project communities, only 10% of children walked or biked to school.
  • Rural Iowans had 19% increased chances of being overweight/obese compared to urban Iowans after adjusting for age, gender, physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • Iowans living in rural counties face unique obstacles in building physical activity into normal daily activities.
  • Many rural Iowans must travel on gravel roads that are not good for walking and biking.
  • Schools and work sites are being located at the edge of the city limits, some with little or no access to sidewalks.
  • Many small towns have limited resources and a small tax base to make needed changes.

Iowa Obesity by County Rural/Urban Status

obesity chart

Timeline of Goals


Let's make a change...

Complete Streets

complete streets

Complete Streets are streets that are created with all users in mind. This changes the current approach to making a city bike and pedestrian friendly the normal thing to consider. A complete streets policy guarantees that transportation planners and engineers consistently create the roadway with all users in mind, including bicyclists, public transportation, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

Walking with a Purpose

walk with purpose

Walking with a Purpose, walkability assessments, are available for communities as well as schools. The tools give ideas on where to complete the assessment, community members to invite to the assessment, a walkability checklist, discussion questions, potential class projects to consider, and resources.

Active Community Design Resources

As a part of the September 2013 Active Community Design Workshop, a Spectrum of Readiness worksheet and a Complete Active Community Design Toolkit have been developed. Both resources are helpful for communities to assess where they are in the design process and where improvements can be made for better walking, biking, and transportation opportunities.