The City of Phoenix is circulating the first draft of a General Plan that looks similar to the one put into place nearly ten years ago. That might be reasonable if we didn’t know any more about the relationship between physical environment and its impact on the health and well-being of residents, particularly children. But we do. For example, the lack of safe places to play, safe routes to school and accessibility of healthy food are known contributors to childhood obesity prevalence that has tripled in the past three decades.
>Health goes beyond absence of disease. It is improved through the integration of disciplines within the context of a responsive community. It takes bottom-up contributors, like Phoenix Revitalization Corporation and Maryvale on the Move, as well as top-down leaders like the City of Phoenix. As a strategic rallying point for both, the General Plan ought to address the state’s Growing Smarter Statutes and partner with communities to move forward.