Physical Activity

Policies supporting daily physical activity are essential in the fight against obesity. Below is a menu of physical activity policies, sample language from cities that have passed policies and additional resources such as model language and fact sheets to support the passage of these policies.

Form Based Zoning that supports mixed use development enhances opportunities for daily physical activity. Specifically, Form Based Zoning allows a mix of residential, commerical and office uses creates neighborhoods where people can walk and bike to work, stores, entertainment and jobs. Albemarle County, VA: Guides development in previously rural and suburban communities away from single, isolated buildings to a compact and interconnected design. Insitute for Local Government's "Understanding the Basic of: Land Use and Planning: A Guide to Planning Healthy Neighborhoods"
Transit oriented development (TOD) clusters housing, jobs and services near local and regional transit hubs, reducing reliance on automobiles. TOD is supported by the Comprehensive Plan, Area Specific Plans and the Zoning Code. People who use transit are more likely to get their recommended daily dose of physical activity through walking and biking. Specific policies include the Comprehensive Plan, Area Specific Plans and the Zoning code. The Fruitvale Transit Village is home to a plethora of uses. The Bay Area Rapid Transit serves the station. Development of the TOD went through an extensive community input process to identify preferences and needs of residents surrounding the TOD. Insitute for Local Government's "Understanding the Basic of: Land Use and Planning: A Guide to Planning Healthy Neighborhoods"
Complete Communities refer to places where housing, jobs, schools,services and recreation are close enough to one another that residents can walk or bike to accomplish their daily tasks and activities. Specific policies to create and support complete communities include the comprehensive plan, multi-jurisdictional plans, form based zoning code with a mix of uses, complete streets, inclusionary zoning, open space.

Grand Boulevard Initiative: multi-jurisdictional plan among 19 cities, counties and transit agencies to revitalize a 45 mile thoroughfare in CA's San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

One Bay Area's presentation on the importance of complete communities.
Complete Streets refers to a set of policies and guidelines which support all users of streets and their sidewalks - pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair riders, autombiles and public transit. A complete street has the infrasture to support each user - wide sidewalks, safe bike lanes, efficient automobile lanes and designated lanes for busses and streetcars. Specific policies include the comprehensive plan, a complete streets policy, traffic calming measures, bike and pedestrian master plans, specific area plans. Baldwin Park,CA: robust policy and implementation standards crafted with resident involvement. National Complete Streets Coalition Fact Sheets
Parks and Open Space provide opportunities for recreation and exercise. Specific policies to increase the amount of parks and open space include the comprehensive plan, park master plan Santa Rosa, CA: General plan goals regarding increasing parks The City Project's "Healthy Parks, Schools and Communities: Mapping Green Access and Equity for the Los Angeles Region"
Joint Use Agreements between cities, schools, transit agencies, and special districts (for example water district) support recreational opportunities. Cities that partner with entities through joint use agreements are able to share the costs and responsibilities of building and maintaining park and recreation facilities. Specific policies include the comprehensive plan and joint use agreements for specific facilities and uses. San Luis Obispo, CA: joint use agreement between city and schools for use of recereational facilities Joint Use Task Force
Physical activity mandates for municipal programs increase opportunities for participants to get their daily recommended dose of exercise. Specific policies include setting a minimum requirement for moderate to vigorous activity in childcare and afterschool settings.

San Leandro, CA: requires a minimum amount of physical activity for its youth programs.

California afterschool physical activity guidelines