The Role of Trails in Healthy Community Design

This webinar offers a number of how-to solutions for creating walk, bike, and fitness-friendly communities with success story examples. He will share how it's not just about trails, but also land use decisions and site designs to create truly active environments.

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Event Details

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December 03, 2015

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline



Public health experts say Americans need to be more physically active to stave off a growing epidemic of chronic diseases associated with sedentary lifestyles. And many believe trails can be central to the more walkable and bike-friendly communities that make this more likely to occur.

But it's also recognized that economic and environmental health accompanies these public health benefits, leading to a triple bottom line associated with healthy community design.

Mark Fenton, one of the nation's experts in walkability, will offer a number of how-to solutions for creating walk, bike and fitness-friendly communities with success story examples. He will share how it's not just about trails, but also land use decisions and site designs to create truly active environments. He will discuss planning and design approaches and how to make the case with leaders and decision makers.

Key Learning Points—Role of Trails in Healthy Community Design:

1. Understanding the adverse impacts and costs of sedentary lifestyles;

2. Understanding the deficiencies of traditional designs of urban infrastructure and community planning that inhibit and discourage walking and biking;

3. Learning about state-of-art urban planning of holistic transportation system and infrastructure design as related to encouraging more walking, biking and active travel;

4. Learning about planning and design solutions to effectively ,and more broadly, integrate multiple modes and routes of active travel (including trails, sidewalks, “free streets” and other solutions) into existing and new urban infrastructure;

5. Exploring ways to promote, particularly through infrastructure, broader and more divers engagement in walking and biking;

6. Exploring successful techniques to win over and engage elected officials, agency staff and other decision makers in promoting more walkable and bikable urban infrastructure.


Webinar Partners


Mark Fenton, Public Health, Planning, & Transportation Consultant, Tufts University
Scituate, Massachusetts

Mark Fenton is a nationally recognized public health, planning, and transportation consultant, adjunct associate professor at Tufts University, former host of “America’s Walking” on PBS television, and author of The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness. He has led training and planning processes for pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly designs in communities across the US, Canada, and Australia. He studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute Technology and biomechanics at the US Olympic Training Center, was manager of the Human Performance Laboratory at Reebok, and has published articles and books related to exercise science, physical activity promotion, and community interventions. In 2022 Mark served on the Science Board of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition for an update to the National Physical Activity Guidelines. He also tries to practice what he preaches, serving on his community’s planning board and walking or cycling for as many routine trips as possible. Mark is also the author of The Complete Guide to Walking.


Robert (Bob) Searns, Owner, Robert Searns and Associates, Inc.
Denver, Colorado

Robert Searns has a four-decade history of visualizing, planning, and getting trails and greenway projects built. He was Project Director of Denver’s Platte River and Mary Carter Greenways—both national-award-wining projects. He helped plan the Grand Canyon National Park Greenway, played a key role on the Memphis Wolf River Greenway, and authored the Commerce City, CO Walk, Bike, Fit plan. He has written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Trails and Beyond Magazine. He chaired American Trails and was a founder of The World Trails Network as well as being a delegate to the America’s Great Outdoors White House conclave. His current book is Beyond Greenways: The Next Step For City Trails and Walking Routes, published in 2023 by Island Press. He resides, writes, hikes, and bikes near Denver, Colorado.


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1,464 views • posted 02/06/2018