Building Healthy Communities

Uploaded by ctdeepvideos on 13.12.2012


NARRATOR Where we live has an enormous impact on our health. A sustainable community can improve the health of its residents by providing access to
fresh foods and opportunities to walk and bike in their daily lives.
ALYSSA NORWOOD Whether or not you have a sidewalk to be able to exercise and to facilitate community cohesion, whether or not you have access to
healthy foods and vegetables, those are all factors that profoundly influence health.
NARRATOR Some cities and towns are working to provide their residents access to healthier foods, including establishing farmers' markets and
community gardens.
MICHAEL MILLER In a really poor neighborhood, people don't necessarily have cars and don't drive and there's no supermarket in the neighborhood so
we may be their only access to affordable healthy food. Having the farmers' market also attached to our community garden is really important because
if a kid has worked and planted and grown that squash and then they bring it into our kitchen and we make it delicious, this may be the one
opportunity we get to get the kids to start on a healthy diet of eating healthy vegetables.
GIRL 1 Got lots of fruits and veggies. I wouldn't try these vegetables before I started coming here.
BOY 1 I bought some watermelon and some blueberries and they're so fresh.
BOY 2 I'm about to taste a cherry tomato, see? Really sweet, delicious.
IZZI GREENBERG I think that one of the most important pieces of health that is often overlooked is the community's overall health -- how many
social connections do people have, are people interacting with the people on their block, the people in their city, in their region. And one of
things that I am most proud of with this market is that we have been able to attract customers with all different income levels, from all different
areas of geography and they come here every week and stand shoulder to shoulder and have a shopping experience.
MARTHA PAGE One of the ways that communities are addressing hunger or food insecurity or food distribution or store placement is by developing food
policy commissions. That group of stakeholders very often can influence municipal leadership, regional leadership to take action that might not
otherwise have been possible.
NARRATOR The Town of East Hartford and the YMCA are working together to build a healthy community. They brought in nationally known consultant Mark
Fenton to conduct a downtown walk audit.
MARK FENTON We can actually put in place policies and design guidelines, ordinances and practices that will actually create environments where
people will make a healthier choice automatically, it's a part of daily living. Our goal is to do what we call a walk audit, it's a tool that we use
in communities all over the country, largely to engage a thoughtful discussion and have people to experience the environment, not theoretically, not
looking at maps, photographs and drawings but actually out on foot. What was lowering people's scores? No healthy food choices, somebody said that I
haven't yet seen a healthy food choice, fair enough. What else? Okay, sidewalks in tough shape. No bike lanes. No bike racks. For the last fifty or
a hundred years we built roads for cars, and then if there was room we stuck a sidewalk on the side and now we're saying, well maybe we should be
thinking about all four, the pedestrian, the bicyclist, transit as well as motor vehicles.
NARRATOR Simsbury led by example and became Connecticut's first bike friendly community. Their accomplishments include improving their trails,
adding signage for safety and increased awareness, and starting a free bike rental program. This year they passed the torch to the Town of South Windsor.
THOMAS DELNICKI I think that it really shows the concern both on Simsbury's part and South Windsor's part, not only for their communities but their
kids, their families and the well-being of the communities.
NARRATOR One of the creative ways that South Windsor encourages bicycling is having bike valets at local events.
ROB O'CONNOR The Strawberry Festival has always been a very popular event in town so we came up with the idea of having a bicycle valet to encourage
people to bike here and maybe relieve some of the car traffic and have a way to enjoy the day fully.
NARRATOR Other way communities are encouraging bicycling as a healthy and fun alternative to driving is by holding Bike to Work Days.
LIA HUANG I really like the efficiency of being able to transport myself to work while exercising at the same time, so it's a time savings. And we
also we have a group from South Windsor so it's also fun just building our community.
MARY GLASSMAN It's easier than you think to be a bike-friendly community. All you have to do is to find people who are passionate about improving
the bike trails and the walking trails, set up meetings with town officials, the town has to be behind it, and just look at the wonderful examples of
communities like Simsbury and South Windsor that have been down the road, that were able to accomplish this wonderful designation. There's a lot of
support out there, you just have to bring people -- together and it will happen.