New Advocates

New Webinar: : “Institutionalizing the Change: How to Make Walking Routine”

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Date and Time: Thursday, August 11th at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

Webinar Host: Ian Thomas, America Walks

Presenter: Mark Fenton, Tufts University

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About the Webinar

The fifth webinar in America Walks’ “Walking College” series reviews public policy and private marketplace strategies to increase walkability. Just like the others in the series, this webinar is free and open to the public, as well as the “Walking College Fellows.”

When setting out to promote walking and increase walkability, it makes sense to focus initial efforts on specific locations where people want to walk or where there is an identified barrier. However, as local walking movements gather momentum, it is essential to transition to a new paradigm, in which walking and walkable community design are the “norm,” not the exception. As presenter Mark Fenton will explain, advocates need to work their way upstream and work to modify the broad public policies that determine how individual projects are built and set the framework for market forces to operate.

The strategies Mark will describe fall into three categories – administrative changes that help set new priorities, planning and zoning ordinances which determine how property is developed, and private sector policies which can unleash the power of the marketplace. Local government administrative changes that can have an impact quite quickly include changing the job descriptions of planners and engineers to emphasize the benefits of walkable neighborhoods, as well as making sure pedestrian activity is measured and analyzed. Planning and zoning laws should emphasize density, mixed-use and mixed-income developments, and pedestrian-friendly building designs. And important corrections need to be made to the price of parking and the way employers support their employees, in order to allow the market to drive what most people want – more walkability!

More information about these strategies can be found in the Every Body Walk! Collaborative’s “Making Walking Routine”, written by Mark Fenton.

About the Presenter

MF.blacknwhite-2Mark Fenton is a public health, planning, and transportation consultant, an adjunct associate professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and former host of the “America’s Walking” series on PBS television. He has written numerous books including the best selling “Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness,” helped with the development of the University of North Carolina’s Safe Routes to School clearinghouse, and facilitated the walkable community workshop series of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Mark studied biomechanics at the Massachusetts Institute Technology, was a researcher at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Science Laboratory in Colorado Springs, and manager of Reebok’s Human Performance Laboratory. From 1986 to 1991, Mark was a member of the United States national racewalking team and competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials in the 50-kilometer racewalk.

With thanks: We are grateful to the Centers for Disease Control, American Public Health Association, New Jersey Department of Health, and Every Body Walk! Collaborative for sponsoring this program.