Strategies and Action Steps

Intro to the Physical and Built Environment



Connected and Livable Communities

Create communities that are denser and more connected and livable, incorporating mixed-use neighborhoods, safety, walkability and access to schools and other positive destinations and healthy food options.

  1. Provide resources, technical assistance and education to the community on policy, environmental and systems changes.
  2. Create master community, park and recreational facility plans that encourage physical activity.
  3. Create master pedestrian and bike plans at community level that connect to AR State Highway Dept. Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
  4. Develop plans and policies to create public spaces for people using all forms of mobility (wheelchair, stroller, bicycle, etc.).

Healthy Design Principles

Encourage design principles that support healthy roadways and streets.

  1. Promote grassroots support of Complete Streets principles in every community across Arkansas.
  2. Work with city, county and other planners to incorporate increased Connectivity Index Scores into relevant policies and regulations.

Complete Streets series:

  1. Overview
  2. Health and Wellness
  3. Economic Development and Tourism
  4. Equality
  5. Healthy Children

Access to Healthy Foods

Ensure the built environment supports access to sources of healthy foods.

  1. Conduct walkability assessments that identify access to sources of healthy foods.
  2. Support zoning legislation that increases access to healthy foods (e.g. community gardens, groceries, restaurants.)

Joint Use Agreements

Increase formal joint-use agreements between communities and organizations such as schools and faith-based organizations to provide access to physical activity areas.

  1. Increase awareness of joint-use agreements with schools, faith-based organizations, etc. and potential partners.
  2. Increase number of school districts with policies supportive of joint-use agreements.
  3. Provide model joint-use policies to communities, schools, faith-based organizations and others.

Walkable Communities

State, county and local policy makers will create incentives to encourage denser, more walkable communities and multi-use developments.

  1. Create a statewide award similar to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification or Active Community Environments (ACE) philosophy that is based on healthy community “livability.”

Livability and Economic Vitality

Create a shared community vision to develop and improve livability and economic vitality.

  1. Use focus groups, needs assessments and town hall meetings to identify shared values.
  2. Create an action plan based on shared values.
  3.  Market the shared vision of the community.

Team Objectives

Visit the Progress Tracker to learn about the Priority Area’s objectives.

The Team

The Physical and Built Environment Priority is led by Casey Covington, Deputy Director of Metroplan. His team features members from the following groups:

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Arkansas Municipal League, the City of Bentonville, the City of Centerton, the City of Hot Springs, the City of Little Rock, the City of Texarkana, Crafton Tull, Garver, Northwest Arkansas Planning Commission, Northeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, Rock Region Metro, Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning, U.S. Green Building Council, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Central Arkansas, and West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District.

Want to find out how you can help? Contact us!


Priority 1 Team Basecamp


We're here to help you succeed at implementing the initiatives of Healthy Active Arkansas. To do that, we've created some handy resources to download.

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