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

** This event has passed **

December 03, 2015

10:30 AM to 00:00 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)


$19 for members (Trail Professional level or higher)
$39 for nonmembers

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    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.


    Mark Fenton

    Mark Fenton is a transportation, planning, and public health consultant, author, PBS television host, and active transportation advocate. An adjunct associate professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, he combines a public health perspective with engineering expertise to provide innovative community level program, design, and policy solutions to create more walkable, bicycle- and transit-friendly settings.

    Fenton worked with the Safe Routes to School national training course and as a workshop facilitator and for the National Center for Bicycling and Walking in Washington, DC, leading sessions in over 200 communities nationwide. He has published widely on on walking for health and fitness topics, speaks regularly nationally (even internationally), and is quoted often in the media.

    Fenton's work ranges from local and regional health and sustainability initiatives to leading the National Physical Activity Plan’s Transportation, Land Use and Community Design working group. He has also served on the World Health Organization’s advisory group for the development of Health Economic Assessment Tools for bicycling and walking.

    Local community work includes neighborhood workshops to develop site specific plans, such as corridor redesigns or neighborhood traffic calming plans, to setting community-wide or regional transportation and public health priorities. The goal is to develop multi-disciplinary teams that will advance healthy land use policies and engineering designs, combining the public health argument for more active community environments with the economic, social, and environmental case for more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly settings based on sound engineering principals and established best practices.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Robert Searns, founding owner, Robert Searns & Associates

    Bob Searns is the founding owner of The Greenway Team, a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO that has specialized for three decades in greenways, trails, and conservation. He was Project Director of Denver's Platte River Greenway, one of the nation's benchmark urban trail projects, and produced 10,000 Trees, an eight-mile river corridor restoration project involving 3,000 volunteers. He has authored a greenways and trails plan for the 43-square-mile area west of Denver International Airport, as well as trail and greenway projects across the nation including Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, Louisville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Portland.

    Bob was a development consultant for the Grand Canyon Greenway, a precedent-setting 72-mile system of multi-use trails along the canyon rim. Bob has conducted workshops throughout North America, China and Europe. He co-authored Greenways: A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development (published in the U.S. and. China), Trails for the 21st Century, and contributed to Greenways, The Beginning of an International Movement. He has served as Chair of the American Trails Board of Directors and written numerous articles and editorials for theAmerican Trails Magazine.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Webinar Resources

    National Park Service & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

    Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook

    Safe Routes to Parks: Improving Access to Parks through Walkability

    Active Transportation and Parks & Recreation

    Active Community Design Information

    http://activelivingbydesign.or... (focused on implementation and best practices)

    http://activelivingresearch.or... (focused on research and the evidence base)

    US Department of Health & Human Services: National Physical Activity Guidelines

    Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities

    Closed Captioning

    We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.


    While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff.

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