LAND USE LAW AND ACTIVE LIVING: OPPORTUNITIES FOR STATES TO ASSUME A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN PROMOTING AND INCENTIVIZING LOCAL OPTIONS

Author: 

Patricia E. Salkin and Amy Lavine

With rates of obesity and related diseases on the rise, particularly in children, the time is ripe to raise discussions about how our built and planned environments can encourage not just youth, but people of all ages, to lead healthier lifestyles. Criticism has long been raised that land use policies in the United States encourage the sprawling development of isolated, single-use areas and foster automobile reliance, thereby removing physical activity from the daily lives of children and adults. For a number of years, smart growth advocates have sought to encourage a modernization of outdated zoning laws that have separated incompatible land uses and that have led to sprawl and poorly controlled development. More recently, the “active living” movement has emerged as a subset of smart growth, focusing on the linkages between health and our artificial environment. The American Planning Association has identified a number of planning and zoning trends that interfere with active living communities View More