City Planning for Healthy Living?

Forum Looks Into How Environment Affects Health

Can cities be planned so that they keep people healthy? Can a seemingly dry, bureaucratic decision about where to put a bus stop or bike path actually get people out of their cars and onto buses and bikes?

These are the kinds of the questions that will be bandied about Saturday morning at a free public forum called “Creating a Healthy Community.” The City of Santa Barbara is sponsoring the forum as part of its two-year long outreach project known Plan Santa Barbara. The project is seeking public input into how the city should update its General Plan, which is its blueprint for growth over the next 20 years. About a dozen Santa Barbara health advocates have been meeting and discussing different planning policies that could encourage people to have healthier lifestyles. Saturday’s forum is a byproduct of their work.

Creating A Healthy Community will feature Richard Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., the former head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center For Environmental Health. Jackson has written extensively about the myriad unseen connections between urban design and public health. He’ll also participate in a panel of public health experts from Santa Barbara.

The event, which is also sponsored by the Santa Barbara City College’s Continuing Education department, takes place at the Victoria Hall Theater at 10 a.m.

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