Land-use webinar to focus on healthy communities and active transportation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- How active transportation contributes to a healthy community will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar at noon on July 15 will be Beth Koser Schwartz, a nurse with Lancaster General Health, and James Cowhey, executive director of the Lancaster County Planning Commission.

Research shows that connected communities with trails, parks, bike lanes and other infrastructure have healthier citizens. Communities designed for health provide benefits not only to the physical health of a community, but to the mental and economic health as well.

Planners and local elected officials are working with local health systems to engage partners to create healthier communities around the country. One example is in southeastern Pennsylvania, according to Koser Schwartz.

"A community coalition of multiple partners, 'Lighten Up Lancaster,' is working collectively to impact the community as they design Lancaster with health in mind," she said.

The goal of the active transportation component of  "Lighten Up Lancaster" is to increase the number of residents in Lancaster County who live in communities with policies and plans supportive of healthy community design that promotes physical activity, noted Cowhey.

"This webinar will present information on the goals, strategies and objectives from the 'Lighten Up Lancaster' strategic plan that is moving the needle on active transportation in Lancaster," he said. "These include bringing complete-streets concepts and policies, a bicycle friendly Lancaster City, safe routes to school and municipal walkability audits."

This webinar is part of Penn State Extension's summer/fall 2015 Land-Use Webinar Series. Other topics and dates in the webinar series include:

--Aug. 19: "Repurposing Land Use into New Venues and Inviting Spaces"

--Sept. 16: "Economic Ecology of Healthy Watersheds"

--Oct. 21: "Bees, Chickens, and Goats, Oh My!"

--Nov.18: "Community Economic Development: What is it, and what is your Role in its Use in your Communities?"

All webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m.

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $35.

To register, visit Penn State Extension's Economic and Community Development Team website.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu.

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Last Updated July 06, 2015