Taking Shape is here to provide real-time updates, dialogue and commentary of what’s going on in our great state of North Carolina – both at the state and community level.
Blog submitted by Jennifer Kiger, Coordinator with the Creative Corridors Coalition
In 2005, NC DOT announced that that 11 bridges on a one-mile stretch of Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem would be replaced or removed, A community engagement program determined the wishes of Winston-Salem residents, businesses, elected officials, and civic and political leaders who seized upon it as an opportunity to positively transform the most visible portion of the Winston-Salem landscape.
How do we help our state save billions in health costs due to obesity-related ailments? We spend millions on safe biking and walking infrastructure.
Documentaries like Urbanized help to fuel action and response by the community. The film is an in-depth educational look at the design of a city and how the planning and development of the infrastructure affects the community and shapes its world.
The Pitt County Board of Commissioners approved the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, due in part to the efforts of the Pitt County Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) project. The plan was passed on December 5, 2011 and will affect the 168,000 citizens of the county. Pitt County Planning added a section to their plan that lays the framework for a healthier community. This section addresses issues associated with urban sprawl, the health benefits of mixed-use and multi-modal (complete streets) transportation, support for farmland protection, and collaboration in providing passive and active recreational opportunities.
Blog submitted by West McDowell Jr. High teachers Tracy Childers and Melanie Shaver and their students.
Through the efforts of the dedicated people of McDowell County and the McDowell Trails Association, the first phrase of The McDowell Greenway was completed last year
Subscribers of Habitat for Humanity's Orange County newsletter received something special this summer. Newsletter author and Habitat for Humanity volunteer Elizabeth Swaringen dedicated the front page of the issue to celebrating Joy Williams—a young woman who, powered by her passion and a deep connection to nature, managed to establish a thriving community garden in her neighborhood.
Providing quality activity spaces is a challenge for many communities especially in a large rural county. With the development of the Community Schools Program over thirty years ago, Pitt County initiated a movement that would significantly enhance the physical activity environment throughout the county. All schools were designated as "community schools" thereby making them available for use by the community in accordance with the Community Schools and Recreation Policy on Use of Facilities.
Carrboro is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, minutes from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has a young, active community. Sixty-three percent of its 19,582 residents are between the ages of 20 and 54 (U.S. Census, 2010). Carrboro has a vibrant bicycling culture, a well-used park system, a network of walking trails, and is home to numerous bicycle shops and sports stores. Since 2001, the Town has consistently been ranked by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
At North Carolina's land trusts, spending time outdoors is part of our daily life. It's how we find and assess farmland, wild spaces, streams and lakes, urban oases, and other places that we want to help protect. And it's how we spend our free time – camping, fishing, swimming or just enjoying a peaceful stroll among the trees.
In the course of a year, Charlotte was recognized as one of the most walkable cities, and one of the most dangerous for pedestrians. How could this be when so many people have worked tirelessly to create policies to increase safety and pedestrian mobility?
I’m not one of the spandex set by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I haven’t ridden my bike to work since coming to the Division of Public Health (DPH) in 2008. I was a regular bike-to-worker before that—but my trip between home and the office was only about two blocks.
As gas prices soar, the timing for National Bike Month this May couldn't be more ideal. Citizens across the state and country are riding their bikes more and making a special effort on Bike to Work Day, coming up on Friday, May 20. And there are many opportunities for everyday citizens — like you — to get involved in biking events taking place across North Carolina.
If you ask people to describe the ideal neighborhood, most of them would talk about tree-lined streets, a pleasant walking environment, and fun destinations within walking or bicycling distance. Not many of them would talk about driving multiple miles to work and activities. So why do we settle for a built environment that is designed for automobiles instead of humans?
Ever wonder what speed you would need to drive on a city street in order to make it through every traffic light without stopping? Ever wonder why you can be the only car stopped waiting at a traffic light intersection and the light won’t change green? As it turns out, it’s not based on luck. There’s actually a science behind it.
A road is a road is a road. Or was that a rose? Durham roads have been liberated and are no longer limited to only cars. In 2010, several volunteers (from Durham CAN, Duke Medical Center, Durham County Health Department and Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment) and one organizer (from Clean Energy Durham) banded together to close one mile of asphalt to cars and open it up to people, bike, roller blades, dog walkers, joggers, hula hoopers, skippers, jumpers and even a marching band. The one mile loop surrounded Durham’s Central Park and Farmers Market and provided a safe passage for people of all ages and abilities. One part of shaping our world is finding ways to make physical activity fun and easy.
The student-created, -directed, -scripted, -produced videos that premiered at the Lights, Camera, Active! event in Greensboro last night shared several common themes, the two biggest being the need for Guilford County city planners to think more about increasing connectivity and making streets safer for physical activity as they look at new development.
Bryan Green, an 8th grader at Hertford County Middle School, has already begun to shape his world. Bryan is part of the winning team for his region’s Lights, Camera, Active! film competition from Shape Your World. The entries for Hertford County were previewed last Thursday in Ahoskie, NC, the first in a series to be held across North Carolina. One thing’s for certain: These kids have a great sense of what improvements to their built environment would mean to the health of their community.
Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you already know a thing or two about Shape Your World. You may know how communities across North Carolina have already begun to shape their world by building new sidewalks, walking trails and even a Bike Boulevard — the first in the state. Or how more than 500 students have already gotten involved with Shape Your World through the Lights, Camera, Active! video contest.