We're creating a community walking map for the city of Revere, MA.
Revere is a community on the forefront of adopting and promoting active lifestyles as a way to combat health problems associated with obesity. Recently recognized by the National League of Cities as number one in Massachusetts and third nationally in addressing childhood obesity through Lets Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties, Revere works to increase opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy food.
WalkBoston maps include timed walk segments that demonstrate how easy walking can be, by highlighting community destinations linked via 5-minute increments. Providing walking times on our maps adds a new dimension of performance unavailable on most walking maps. We often think of distance in terms of travel time, yet most maps don't provide this information. By showing what a five-minute walk looks like, we can give the map user a better understanding of their environment.
As a result, WalkBoston's maps are more effective in encouraging people to walk. More walking adds physical activity, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and car trips, and creates more vibrant communities. As expressed by the hospital wellness coordinator in Milford, one of the communities where WalkBoston has provided technical assistance and where we created and distributed a walking map, "the walking map was the big catalyst....it got folks paying attention to walking."
Reintroducing people to the lost pleasures of walking -- whether for transportation, health, the environment or fun -- is at the heart of WalkBoston's varied and market-specific walking maps. We believe that the map will be greatly used by Revere’s residents and that it will be an important tool in the City’s efforts to get residents walking for health.
In October 2013, the City of Revere was recognized by the Massachusetts Public Health Association as a leader in Healthy Community Design. Mayor Dan Rizzo received the award during the “Health by Design” event at the Massachusetts Statehouse. There are great things happening in Revere - this map is one more tool to improve the health and wellness of the whole community!
What else does WalkBoston do? WalkBoston is a membership-based organization working to transform Massachusetts' communities into more walkable places and reintroduce people to walking as a convenient, healthy and low-cost transportation choice. WalkBoston's programs involve increasing public awareness of walking as an important element of vibrant communities, encouraging more people to walk, and providing technical assistance.
In 2012, we worked with more than 25 cities and towns across the state, with much of our work focused on neighborhoods and communities where people depend on walking the most -- people with lower incomes, elders, children, people with disabilities, and transit users. From spearheading efforts that created a pedestrian-friendly design along the Rose Kennedy Greenway to creating Massachusetts' first program promoting walking to school for children (in 1999), WalkBoston empowers people to make their communities healthier and more sustainable.
Risks and challenges
WalkBoston has received partial funding as a challenge grant for a community map of Revere. If we cannot match the grant - we won’t be able to use it!
The maps are designed to encourage walking as part of everyday activities by showing connections to transit, retail and civic uses, and open space or historic resources. WalkBoston staffer Robert Sloane was recognized as a 2012 White House Champion of Change for these innovative map designs!
Revere is actively engaged in encouraging its citizens to walk as part of its "Revere on the Move" campaign, and is investing in both infrastructure and public health programs to accomplish this goal. WalkBoston is a key partner in the effort through WalkBoston’s successful K-8 Walk-to-School program, led by Project Coordinator Julie DeMauro, a Revere resident and mother of three elementary school children. Revere was selected for the walk-to-school
program because, although much of the City is walkable, many of its students are driven to school even for very short trips and because Revere's children suffer from high rates of obesity.
- (30 days)