Many communities need more safe places to walk or be active outdoors, with access to opportunities for residents to be active. Approximately 33% of adults living in Indiana were obese in 2016, and less than 50% of adult Indiana residents met moderate physical activity recommendations in 2015. Current research points to the fact that people who live in car-dependent environments walk less, weigh more and suffer from related chronic diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure).
Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users of all ages and abilities can safely move along and across a Complete Street. Communities are encouraged to adopt their own Complete Streets policies and to design and retrofit their communities using a Complete Streets approach, making walking and biking the safe and easy choice.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has adopted an internal Complete Streets policy and has been actively engaged in increasing the number of cities adopting Complete Streets policies.
Active Living Workshops
ISDH created a program to fund and facilitate a series of Active Living Workshops across Indiana to address the need to create more active communities. For this project, DNPA partnered with Health by Design, a statewide coalition that works in the intersection of the built environment and public health. Purdue University Extension Service also provided funding and staff support.
From 2014 to 2018, DNPA and its partners conducted 46 workshops across Indiana. More than 1,800 community stakeholders—including city planners, engineers, public health professionals, school administrators and community leaders—attended these workshops. The participants agreed to a year-long set of follow-up activities, including drafting an action plan, providing status reports and reporting success stories outlining each group’s achievements.
In 2020, DNPA will facilitate four regional Active Living Workshops in an effort to meet the continuing need for regional coordination to promote active transportation throughout the state. Please check back with this page for more information as the program develops.
Visit Health by Design’s website to learn more about their part of the Active Living movement.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Funding Program
DNPA created a planning grant program from 2014 to 2018 to fund the preparation and adoption of bicycle and pedestrian plans for cities and counties throughout Indiana. Fifteen communities were selected through competitive applications to receive the planning funds. The planning process typically included the creation of a local advisory committee, a public input process and an inventory of existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities and policies, along with recommendations to increase the development of bicycle and pedestrian networks.
DNPA provided a total of $300,000 in grant funding to 15 communities to prepare the plans. The plans covered a population of over 500,000 people throughout the state and included more than $500 million in total planned bicycling and walking improvements.
In 2020, DNPA may be funding additional bicycle and pedestrian plan grants. Please see the Grants and Resources section of the DNPA web page for more information on current grant opportunities for this program.
Physical Activity Resources
- Health by Design – Indiana coalition working to create an environment that promotes physical activity and protects the environment through education, advocacy and action.
- Active Living Research – The evidence base to prevent childhood obesity and promote active communities.
- Indiana Active Living Guidebook – This guidebook is intended to be used by anyone interested in changing the built environment of their community to improve public health.
- Bicycle Indiana – A statewide organization that focuses on promoting, educating and advocating for bicycling in Indiana. Bicycle Indiana develops an annual resource guide for bicycling events throughout the state, educates children and adults about bicycle safety and advocates for better infrastructure and better treatment of cyclists.
Pete Fritz, Healthy Communities Planner
Contact for Complete Streets, Built Environment, Tactical Urbanism, Community Planning