HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic

Helping Municipal Leaders Create Healthy, Prosperous Communities

The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign provides free training and technical assistance to municipal leaders to adopt policies that make it easier for residents to eat better and move more.

The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign is an initiative of The Institute for Public Health Innovation in partnership with the Maryland Municipal League and the Virginia Municipal League. 

People who live in walkable neighborhoods are 2 times as likely to get enough physical activity as those who don’t.
— Active Living Research, 2012
Policies that Support Active CommunitiesLocal Examples - Municipal Policies from the RegionSupporting Documents & Resources
1. Include provisions in your comprehensive plan that promote bikeability and walkability Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan - Gaithersburg, MD

Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan - Mount Rainier, MD

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Master Plan - Greenbelt, MD

Town Plan - Leesburg, VA

Updating and Implementing Healthy General Plans (ChangeLab Solutions)
2. Include strategies that promote public safety/crime prevention through environmental design

Strategies for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design – Virginia Beach, VA

Case Study: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in Parks – Portsmouth, VA
3. Prioritize Transit-Oriented and Mixed- Use Development

Sample Policy: Mixed Use Town Center Zone Development: Riverdale Park, MD

Town Plan - Leesburg, VA

Why Transit-Oriented Development and Why You Should Care

Mixed Use Development Standards

4. Adopt a Complete Streets policy

Sample Policy: Washington, DC

Sample Policy: Rockville, MD

Sample Policy: Baltimore, MD

Sample Policy: Roanoke, VA

Sample Policy: Charlottesville, VA - pg. 8

Fact Sheet: What are Complete Streets

10 Elements of a Comprehensive Complete Streets Policy

Complete Streets Help Create Livable Communities

Complete Streets Work in Rural Communities

Local Government Policy Workbook

5. Promote slower vehicle traffic through traffic calming measures

Traffic Calming Measures - Arlington, VA

Sample Policy: Traffic Calming - Herndon, VA

Neighborhood Traffic Calming Guide - Herndon, VA

FAQ on Traffic Calming from VDOT

6. Adopt a policy to paint bike lanes/shared use lanes (“Sharrows”) when re-paving/painting roads

Sharrows in Action - Laurel, MD

Sharrows in Action - Arlington, VA

7. Adopt a policy to stripe crosswalks when re-paving/painting roads

Sample Policy: Corvallis, OR

Guidelines for the Installation of Marked Crosswalks - VDOT

8. Establish Joint Use Agreements for facilities, such as: school playgrounds, pools, etc.

Fact Sheet: Joint Use Agreements

Joint Use Agreement Toolkit (ChangeLab Solutions)

9. Adopt Form Based Code Zoning ordinance

Sample Policy: Arlington, VA

Oceanfront Form Based Code - Virginia Beach, VA

What is Form Based Code?

10. Require developers to include bike and pedestrian facilities and/or usable space for physical activity and recreation or pay fee-in-lieu

Sample Policy: Rockville, MD

11. Institute a Complete Streets requirement for new development
12. Create an Active Living Community Policy Council, Task Force, or Advisory Council tasked with identifying recommendations for the City/Town to follow

Salisbury, MD Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Fit San Antonio, TX

Does your city or town have a policy that supports active communities? Submit it to us via email: jgroenfeldt@institutephi.org