America Walks Launches New Case Studies

Local Elected Officials Lead on Walkability

America Walks is excited to launch its newest publication on the innovative approaches local leaders are taking to address the issue of walkability. Recognizing the importance that local leaders play in making meaningful community change, America Walks has produced case studies showcasing four local elected officials and their personal campaigns to improve walkability and increase walking in their home towns.

The two Mayors, one City Councilwoman, and one County Board member represent very different types and sizes of communities – ranging from a small town of 10,000 to a major city of well over half a million. There is also variety in the specific public policy issues they tackled, which include reducing speed limits in neighborhoods, updating street design policies to emphasize the people on foot, and revitalizing Main Street.

The similarities in their stories, however, are stronger than the differences. These officials all recognize that cities have made mistakes in the past by prioritizing automobiles over people and community; they are all passionate about creating healthy environments where every citizen can thrive, and they all believe deeply in the power of community engagement to make social change. And they have all used the democratic process to earn their status as policymakers and realize their visions. With these case studies, we can see the power local officials have on advancing the issue of walkability and we hope that other communities will use these experiences to continue to advance this vital cause.

Batesville, AR (pop., 10,000): Mayor Rick Elumbaugh developed the vision for revitalizing Main Street

Columbia, MO (pop., 115,000): Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe made the case for reduced neighborhood speed limits

Arlington County, VA (pop., 227,000): Board Member Chris Zimmerman engaged the community in a conversation about street design policies

Oklahoma City, OK (pop., 611,000): Mayor Mick Cornett challenged the city to make an economic development investment in walkability