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April 23, 2015, America Walks offered a webinar titled "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper And
Healthier. Transforming the built environment to improve health outcomes can take years, if not
decades. The webinar focused on short term, low cost, yet high impact strategies for improving
streets, public spaces, and buildings across the country that can lead to longer-term change. Kate
Rube and her team at Project for Public Spaces, along with Jennifer Smith from Greater Kennedy
Plaza, presented health-promoting Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper approaches, including active
recreation amenities, street redesigns that prioritize people, and farmers market stands. The
webinar challenged participants to create great public places that attract people and provide
multiple ways to improve health in their own communities.

America Walks received many questions and comments from attendees. Kate Rube and Kelly Verel
of Project for Public Spaces offered their expertise to help continue the conversation and answer
the questions below.

Do you have any advice/strategies to work with city government to support these efforts? I'm
wondering specifically with the wayfinding signage- it's technically against our city ordinance
to put up this type of signage and I'm wondering how other cities have handle similar
obstacles...and/or if they have had any success changing city policy to support the signage.

City policies are a common barrier to many of the Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) strategies
included in the webinar, unfortunately. There are two options - you can work with the City to
change that policy banning signage, or you can move forward without permission and see what the
reaction is to wayfinding signage. Read about how this exact issue in Raleigh, NC gained traction:

It would be great if examples included smaller cities and rural communities.

Many of the LQC examples given can be used in smaller cities/rural communities - the population
doesn't really make a difference. Farmers markets are found all over the US - in all sizes of
communities - and should consider any one of the examples given in the PPT. One way a rural
community may even try something a little different at a farmers market is to invite backyard
growers to sell or even give away excess produce (who doesn't have too much summer
squash/zucchini in August) at their local farmers market. For these tactics to work you don't need
large, urban communities - you need suitable public spaces and willing community members to
make them happen.

It would be interesting to see some examples for suburban communities that are not walkable.

Similar to smaller cities/rural communities mentioned above, our suburbs are also home to farmers
markets and any one of them could try any of the Healthy LQC methods that we suggest. On the
transportation side of things, some strategies to consider are creating or enhancing small
destinations - mini-parks, plazas, markets, etc. within people's neighborhoods that people can walk
or bike to safely. Many of the strategies included in the webinar - striping for bike lanes, for

example, or wayfinding signage, can be utilized in suburban areas.

Any suggestions for encouraging churches to allow use of their often huge parking lots that go
unutilized 6 out of 7 days of the week? Follow-up comment. Churches often cite liability
concerns as the reason for saying 'no'.

We don't have very much experience working directly with churches, but they are certainly great
potential spaces because they are larger underused 5-6 days of the week. Is there a way that the
organizing entity can take over partial liability for the event, much as a special event does, e.g, a
festival, carnival, etc.? A good model could be the joint use agreements developed for many school
playgrounds that have dealt with liability concerns for use of the space during non-school hours.

What is the quickest ROI for communities to achieve the safest streets? What about 7 lane
roads? Medians are expensive, yet people still need to cross these streets without getting killed.
What do you suggest??

It's hard to define a specific solution without knowing the context and issues of a site. You could
look at some of the resources FHWA has for prioritizing safety improvements:


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