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Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity State Plan: Active Community Environments

Active Community Environments can increase physical activity by providing more opportunities for people to be active. The challenge in this environment is the diversity of potential community partners and how to identify and coordinate their efforts. Identifying key implementation partners and developing a 5-year plan are essential prerequisites for expanding this initiative.


Why Does Creating Active Community Environments Make a Difference.

Keith Holt video

(Keith Holt, Milwaukee Bicycle Works)

Active Community Environments Strategies (PDF, 460 KB)

View the objectives and full list of strategies for implementation in the
Active Community Environments setting.


Key Strategies Overview:

  1. Develop local community master plans that include incorporation of strategies that promote physical activity.
  2. Develop and implement active transportation options such as safe routes to school plans and bike to work options in communities.
  3. Increase access to public or community facilities for physical activity.

Walkable Neighborhoods

Walkable Neighborhoods Video

Video Instructional (exit DHS)

Walkable Neighborhoods - When community members evaluate pedestrian routes by taking a walk together, everyone sees for themselves whether they are places you'd want to walk. Do a walk audit in your neighborhood to start discussion about improvements for people to walk safely and comfortably.



Select Active Community Environments (ACEs) Resources for ideas and materials to implement the key strategies such as the ACEs Toolkit.


% Active chart
Key Points:
  • One study found that 43% of people with safe places to walk within 10 minutes of home met recommended activity levels; among those without safe places to walk just 27% met the recommendation.¹
  • Providing greater access to physical activity facilities such as gyms, parks and other recreational facilities will increase activity levels.
  • City planning and neighborhood development should include considerations for integrating physical activity and health into decision-making.


¹ Powell, K.E., Martin, L., & Chowdhury, P.P. (2003). Places to walk: convenience and regular physical activity. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 1519-1521.

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Last Updated: June 28, 2013