Active communities provide safe and convenient opportunities for physical activity; commonly referred to as opportunities for active living. Active living integrates physical activity into daily routines such as walking or biking for transportation or recreation, playing in the park, work in the yard, or using recreation facilities. Active living policies and practices in community design, land use, and facility access have been proven effective to increase levels of physical activity.
Non-motorized transportation is generally defined as walking and biking; however, it includes the use of wheelchairs, strollers, and other forms of wheeling like in-line skates and skateboards. Non-motorized transportation also includes transit use such as buses and trains because other forms of non-motorized transportation (such as walking to and from the bus stop) are usually combined with transit to complete the trip.
PartnerSHIP 4 Health assists city officials in an effort to increase non-motorized transportation through community design and land use policies and practices that include street and community design standards, ordinances, zoning regulations, form-based codes, building codes, builders' practices, and Complete Streets policies. Examples of non-motorized transportation features that these policies and practices may be applied to include:
- Sidewalks, walking and biking paths, and bike lanes
- Safe and convenient pedestrian street crossing features such as crosswalks, stop signs, stop lights, and other street crossing elements
- Motorist traffic calming and speed-reduction measures
- Street landscaping and pedestrian-level street lighting
- Bike racks, lockers, or other bike parking and storage facilities
- Land use development patterns to locate homes, worksites, schools, stores, and other community services and amenities within reasonable walking distances (pedestrian-oriented development) and within easy reach to transit (transit-oriented development)