How can a community improve its walkability?
When the nation faces a major health threat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leads the
response. With chronic disease on the rise, the CDC’s
Dr. Tegan K. Boehmer, acting lead for the Healthy Community Design Initiative, answers questions about the
agency’s focus on walkability — which can help prevent
chronic disease — and transportation planning.
Why does the CDC care about transportation
Preventing disease and injury is a core function of
the CDC. By making it safer and more convenient to
use active transportation such as walking and biking,
transportation systems and policies can have a positive influence on health and healthcare costs through
increased physical activity, reduced air pollution
exposure and reduced motor vehicle crashes, among
The Healthy Community Design Initiative within CDC’s
National Center for Environmental Health focuses
on understanding the link between the built environ-
ment and public health. The program partners with
Calling All Resources
for Healthy Communities
public health, transportation and land-use professionals
to create built environments that provide people with convenient and safe opportunities to walk, bicycle and use
Promoting active transportation, such as walking and
bicycling, is one way CDC hopes to make people more
physically active. See our Recommendations for Improving Health Through Transportation Policy (http://www.
cdc.gov/transportation/) for details.
Photo by Alan Light
Surgeon General’s CALL TO ACTION Goals
Make walking a national priority.
Design communities that make it safe and easy to walk for people of all ages and abilities.
Promote programs and policies to support walking where people live, learn, work and play.
Provide information to encourage walking and improve walkability.
Fill surveillance, research and evaluation gaps related to walking and walkability.