The design of streets, buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces strongly impacts the health of communities and their residents. Research has shown that living in compact, walkable neighborhoods improves health by encouraging more physical activity, while poorly designed communities can exacerbate rates of obesity and chronic disease.

Suburban sprawl spreads buildings and activities across the landscape. Where children could once walk or bike to school, most end up driven by parents or riding long bus routes. In automobile-oriented areas, access to parks and green space often requires a car. Meanwhile, healthcare facilities themselves grow in size and scale, typically at the expense of walkability and engagement with surrounding neighborhoods.

CNU advocates for neighborhood design that builds exercise into daily routines and improves access to services and green space. At the same time, CNU members are pioneering new ways to incorporate modern medical facilities into walkable places. Our goal is to provide the tools to allow all people—from young children to the elderly—to live in healthy places.