Web Forum

Is Your Community Putting Prevention to Work? Ways to Increase Walking and Bicycling
Thursday, July 11, 2013 | 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Pacific

Communities that support walking and biking help people be physically active, promote health and can lower health care costs. This Web Forum will showcase different “active transportation” initiatives that make walking and biking for daily travel an easier and more attractive option for children and adults. Presenters will highlight projects that had received funding from Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grants focused on increasing physical activity and preventing obesity.

Nick Sims will discuss the Jefferson County, Alabama CPPW initiative which involved several concurrent efforts focused on creating walkable communities. This included the adoption of a SmartCode zoning ordinance, Complete Streets resolutions, a new County-wide Greenway Master Plan, and policies supportive of Safe Routes to School. Much of this work continues today through the County’s Health Action Partnership, its member organizations, and specifically the Livable Communities Priority Group.

Vikrant Sood will provide an overview of policy, systems, and environmental strategies undertaken in San Diego, California to promote active living. These included the development of innovative technical tools and assistance and incentive programs. One highlight was the development of San Diego’s Healthy Communities Atlas, a tool which enables communities to see the specific relationships between numerous neighborhood characteristics that impact the health of their communities. Vikrant will highlight initiatives targeted at low- and moderate-income households, people of color and people with disabilities.

Julia Murphy will highlight efforts in San Antonio, Texas, focusing on the B-Cycle project, which furthers the City of San Antonio’s twin goals of enhancing both environmental and public health by providing a sustainable transportation option. She will discuss how the city is transforming itself into a bicycle-friendly community with a Bicycle Master Plan and Complete Streets Policy.






    Nick Sims
    Safe Routes to Schools of Central Alabama
    Birmingham, AL

    Nick SimsNick currently works with Safe Routes to School of Central Alabama, a joint initiative of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham and United Way of Central Alabama. During CPPW he worked with the Jefferson County Commission, and then the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership as a Planner in effort to improve the built environment through the adoption of plans and policies which create livable, walkable communities. (www.saferoutesal.org)

    Vikrant Sood
    Program Manager
    Bay Area Regional Prosperity Project
    Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
    Formerly the Public Health Planning Specialist at San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
    Oakland, CA

    Vikrant SoodVikrant Sood is a Program Manager at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional transportation planning agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, where he manages the Regional Prosperity Plan, a $5 million program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, that promotes sustainable and healthy communities through coordinated housing, transportation and economic development strategies. Before joining MTC, Vikrant was the Program Manager for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program at the San Diego Association of Government, the transportation planning agency for the San Diego region. (www.mtc.ca.gov and www.sandag.org)

    Julia Murphy, AICP
    Office of Sustainability
    City of San Antonio
    San Antonio, Texas

    Julia Murphy, AICPJulia Murphy hails from the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability. She runs the award-winning “San Antonio Bikes” program and is currently overseeing key projects such as the implementation of the comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan, San Antonio B-Cycle municipal bike share system, and a bicycle safety and awareness media campaign. In 2010, the city was awarded “Bicycle Friendly Community” status at the bronze level by the League of American Bicyclists. San Antonio was also named a top-50 city for cyclists by Bicycling magazine in 2012. A certified planner, Julia has a Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas School of Architecture. (www.sanantonio.gov/sustainability.aspx)


    Deborah Lou, PhD
    Program Analyst
    Active Living Research
    A National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    University of California, San Diego
    San Diego, CA

    Deborah Lou, PhDDebbie Lou is the program analyst with Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Debbie engages advocacy, policy, and community groups to develop opportunities for research translation and dissemination, especially to ensure the research meets the needs of communities at highest risk for childhood obesity. She is co-author of a research synthesis with Dr. Wendell Taylor titled “Do All Children Have Places to be Active?” This synthesis reviews evidence showing that lower-income people and racial and ethnic minorities often live in communities that discourage active living. (www.activelivingresearch.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Sims/ Safe Routes to Schools of Central Alabama

Sood/ Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Murphy/ City of San Antonio, TX



The following document provides important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo http://www.activelivingresearch.org/

Public Health Institute

Active Living Research