filed under: health and social benefits

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 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

Learning Credit Cost:

  • CEUs are FREE for this webinar.
  • Note:

    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

    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.


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

    Robert Searns is a trail and greenway planner/designer/developer and has a four-decade award-winning history in trail planning and implementation. He has worked with communities to visualize concepts, win support and get projects built. He co-authored Greenways: A Guide to Planning Design and Development (Island Press)—Published in the U.S. and China and contributed to Greenways: The Beginning of an International Movement (Elsevier Press). He has written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines.

    Bob has authored a number of trail management and sustainability articles and reports including recently serving as a principal author of a trails management and sustainability guidelines report for The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area (U.S. Forest Service).

    He served as Chair for American Trails and helped found the World Trails Network. He has produced and moderated Webinars, policy guidelines and other products for American Trails.

    Bob holds a Master of Architecture from The State University of New York.

    Bob is currently writing a new book with Island Press on close-in trails and walking routes. The publication date will be available later in 2022.


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    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. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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