A Healthy Austin Program will reduce chronic and diet-related diseases and risk factors by coordinating access to community and health services, local and healthy food, physical activity, and tobacco-free living. This priority program seeks to create places where people can easily walk, bike, play, and find nearby healthy food options and healthcare.
Imagine Austin objectives related to food access, transportation, the built environment, obesity, access to healthcare align directly with the Community Health Improvement Plan, which enables the Priority Program team to leverage resources within the community for implementation.
Traffic deaths and serious injuries are a preventable public health problem. Vision Zero sets a goal of eliminating transportation-related serious injuries and deaths by 2025. To achieve that goal, Vision Zero builds on existing safety initiatives, facilitates greater collaboration, and leverages limited resources between departments, other agencies, and the community, and takes a concerted, multi-pronged approach that includes:
a holistic approach to land use and transportation
a complete streets approach to street design
traffic engineering and infrastructure
enforcement and prosecution of dangerous behaviors
education and culture change
public health, equity, and related issues
policy analysis and changes at the local and regional level
For Austin to be a thriving, equitable, and ecologically resilient community, it must have a healthy and just local food system. Growing, selling, eating, and recovering food locally creates jobs, strengthens the economy, improves public health, and reduces transportation impacts. A sustainable food system benefits everyone.
Austin Public Health Department (Cassie DeLeon - Program Champion); Planning and Zoning, Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Austin Transportation, Office of Sustainability
For additional information about this priority program, see page 205 of Imagine Austin, or contact the Planning and Zoning Department liaison.
Austin Public Health partnered with the Sustainable Food Center to implement farm stands at schools and community centers and with Farmshare Austin to provide a mobile produce market in areas of high chronic disease and lacking healthy food retail. Efforts are also underway to evaluate these projects.
The Neighborhood Food System Planning Pilot project was completed in North Central Austin. This process included outreach to approximately 678 area residents through community events, focus groups, surveys, and interviews. A report highlighting the assets and barriers in the area food system has been published and is being used to inform the response to City Resolution No. 20160303-020 with the goal of increasing food access and SNAP enrollment in Austin.
The Housing Authority of the City of Austin implemented a smoke-free policy on 9/1/2015, impacting 1831 families. The Housing Authority of Travis County implemented a smoke-free policy for their 3 properties on 6/1/2916, which impacted 105 families.
Built Environment/Physical Activity/Recreation:
The Vision Zero Action Plan was adopted by City Council on May 19, 2016. The Vision Zero Action Plan is structured around 4 key actions: data, media, continuing the Task Force, and targeting hotspot locations and dangerous behaviors.
The completion of feasibility studies on 61 AISD properties helped to advance infill park opportunities in park deficient areas. Twenty of the sites have been prioritized for development of new school park joint use facilities.
Through the expenditure of almost $3million in parkland dedication fees, recreational opportunities were expanded to build a pocket park in the Saltillo transit-oriented development, re-purpose sport courts for multi-generational uses, add trails, and add facilities for youth programs.
The City of Austin Transportation Department, in partnership with the Public Works Department, installed over 28 miles of new or improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities in 2015!