Location: Hillsborough County, Florida, population 1.349 million
The Problem: The city of Tampa has been ranked poorly on the food environment index and has received a low Walk Score.
Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: Health is being recognized as an emerging focus area for Metropolitan Planning for Transportation, or MPOs. The project has identified food deserts and walkability as two of the city’s biggest problems. In order to address these concerns, the project has proposed creating community gardens with easy pedestrian and bicycle access in identified food deserts. The goal is to improve health equity and population health by increasing easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Hillsborough County MPO aims to be a model for the other 26 Florida MPOs and will target the city of Tampa, which is the largest city in Hillsborough County and is the third most populous city in Florida.