Healthy Places by Design

Thurlow Small Architecture assisted Horsley Witten Group as consultants for the Healthy Places by Design Project for Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Project Description
Pawtucket has been selected to become a Healthy Community through the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) Healthy Communities Pilot Project.  This is part of HEALTH’s Healthy Places by Design Program.  Healthy Places by Design (HPbD) seeks to strengthen land use, transportation, and urban design policies and local ordinances that guide the decision making process for the built environment to be more supportive of health, particularly as it relates to physical activity and healthy eating.

Pawtucket was HEALTH’s urban community of choice “to implement community level policies that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for all residents.”  The HPbD project has two main objectives: (1) to incorporate changes to local policies and the public participation process that consider the effect of the built environment on health, and (2) to build capacity for healthier communities.

The City is well-suited to undertake such review, having recently undertaken an update of its Comprehensive Plan, completed a circulation and zoning analysis of its downtown, and participated in an ongoing basis in efforts to encourage a Keep Space community through Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation (PCDC) and RI Housing.  Add to these efforts the numerous Pawtucket community partners, which have physical health as a core value, and you have the ingredients for a community-led and embraced process.