Active Design for a Healthier Thurston County

NEWS UPDATE: Thurston County is a Spotlight Award Winner

Recognition: The project is applying web-based tools such as GeoForm for data collection and mapping as part of the “walkshed” analysis, a measurement of walkability around various locations, to boost physical activity levels.

new benches in a park

“The funding provided through the Aetna Foundation to Thurston County is an important foundation for our efforts to improve the access and usability of our bicycle and pedestrian network. This is part of a larger effort to provide opportunities for our population to become more active in their daily lives and thus healthier. This funding has really moved us forward in our thinking on these issues and has positioned us to prioritize future actions to further these efforts.” – Pete Kmet, City of Tumwater, WA Mayor

Location: Thurston County, Washington, population 269,536

The Problem: Adults are reporting low levels of physical activity, and the city has a low Walk Score.

smiling manHealthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: Active Design for a Healthier Thurston County addresses a need for better conditions to support physical activity in key areas of the county. The project will include a complete study of walking environments and the identification and implementation of walkability improvements in both the trail system and in nearby dense, low-income neighborhoods.  By making these updates, such as new paths and wayfinding signs, the city will see improvements such as increased use of trails, safer trails, and a reduced cost of living from lower transportation costs.