Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How have Legacy Healthy Community Strategies worked?

Benchmarks identified in Legacy, with the possible exception of a benchmark on air quality, were not intended to measure improvement in the community’s health. However, many of the goals and objectives throughout Legacy that have been acted on do address issues that impact health and equity. The completion of studies on parks, greenways, bicycling and pedestrian facilities clearly help to provide opportunities for recreation and exercise. Measures for protecting water quality (see Chapter 7) should provide a cleaner and healthier environment to live in. The Triad Air Quality Compact and the Tree Ordinance will work improve the air we all breathe. The Traffic Calming program put in place by the City of Winston-Salem will make the walking environment safer for pedestrians. The Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas (RUCA) program has been helping to stimulate growth in “slow growing” and struggling communities.

While we have done well on recreation opportunities and environmental regulations, we have not done as well on other Legacy items. There have been few mixed-use/compact developments actually built in the county, an important factor in creating
Complete Communities. Our transit system has grown very little, making it harder for those without cars to access jobs, services, health care and healthy food choices.

Lack of funding for projects including farmland preservation, new parks, recreational facilities and open space also remains an obstacle to creating a healthier community.

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