The transportation system influences how our communities are designed and operate. It can have a significant impact on public health in the following ways:1US Department of Transportation

  1. Physical Activity and Well Being
    • Transportation design that enables and encourages biking and walking can increase health and decrease chronic disease.
    • Affordable transportation enables families to use their limited income on other health related needs including purchasing nutritious food and paying for health care.
  2. Safety
    • Transportation should be reliable and safe for all users.
    • Unintended health consequences associated with transportation, like auto emissions, can negatively affect communities.
  3. Access to Healthy Destinations
    • Transportation enables access to destinations that help maintain overall health. These destinations include stores, markets selling nutritious food, places providing health care, parks, work, and recreational facilities.

What It Means

Transportation means access. For many Arizonans, increasing transportation options and availability means increasing health. Without access to the essential elements of a healthy community, individuals and communities, often minority and low income, will continue to be disproportionately exposed to negative health outcomes.

Communities that are most sensitive to pollution, displacement, and other negative effects of transportation not only deserve equitable access to transportation but more inclusion in transportation decisions. Unintended negative consequences associated with transportation systems can be remediated through inclusive engagement and decision making.

Why It Matters

Resilience calls for diversity. In order to ensure the ability for Arizona communities to respond and recover from shocks that may affect our transportation systems, it is important to diversify those transportation options. Likewise, effective and accessible transportation options play an important role in a community’s ability to recover from disruptions to any system. For example, effective transportation enables a community to access nutritious food despite the neighborhood market closing down.

Join Us

Live Well Arizona is a continually evolving website and will grow with your input. Help us identify, lift up, and celebrate efforts that help Arizonans be healthier and live well.

Submit Your Resources Here

National Resources: The Big Picture

Look here for statistics, analysis strategies, resources and best practices from across the country.

  • Center for Neighborhood Technology – Transportation and Community Development

  • Center for Transportation Excellence

  • National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates

  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

  • Reconnecting America – Resource Center

  • Rockefeller Foundation – Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Smart Growth America Complete Streets Coalition

  • Smart Growth America – Dangerous by Design 2016

  • Smart Growth America – Safe Streets Academy

  • State Smart Transportation Initiative – Health

  • Transit Oriented Development Institute

  • Transportation for America

  • US Department of Transportation – Bicycles and Pedestrians

  • Vision Zero Network

Arizona Resources: Local Spotlight

Looking to start, or engage in a conversation about Transportation Options and how you can contribute? Here are connectors, conveners, advocates and actors to bring to the table.

  • Arizona Department of Transportation – Planning

  • Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities – Transportation

  • Arizona Transit Association

  • Friends of Transit

  • Governor’s Office – Resident Transportation

  • LISC Phoenix – Equitable Transit Oriented Development

  • Living Streets Alliance

  • Maricopa Association of Governments – Transportation

  • Pima Association of Governments – Transportation

  • Valley Metro – Projects and Planning

  • Vitalyst Health Foundation – Healthy Community Design



Connect with Transportation Options efforts-in-progress, and the partners who are helping to make them happen:


City of Phoenix Complete Streets Program: Complete Streets are designed to encourage and facilitate active transportation and public health, and accommodate people of all ages and abilities.

Grand Canalscape: The Grand Canalscape Project will create a nearly 12-mile continuous trail system along the Grand Canal from I-17 to the Phoenix/Tempe Border.

Living Streets Alliance Big Jump Project: The initiative, which aims to double or triple bike ridership in specific neighborhoods, hopes to prove that when cities make smart changes, more people ride bikes, and communities become better places to live, work and play.

The Loop: 100 miles of shared-use paths in Pima County connecting Tuscon, South Tuscon, Oro Valley, and Marana.


Mountain Link: A high-frequency bus line in Flagstaff that connects residential areas, the university campus, downtown Flagstaff, and commercial/employment areas.

Valley Metro Safe Place: Safe Place is a national youth outreach program designed to provide immediate help and safety for teen ages 12-17 who are in crisis.


Signature Projects

Get a bird’s eye view of efforts from around the country that can be an inspiration and reference point for Arizona-based work:

HUD Moving to Work: Promotes innovative housing strategies by exempting participating cities from many public housing and voucher rules and giving more flexibility with how Federal funds are used.

Open Streets MPLS: Open Streets Minneapolis brings together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, and open them up for people walking, biking, skating, and playing.

Rides to Wellness Initiative: The Federal Transit Administration launched the Rides to Wellness Initiative to increase partnerships between health and transportation providers and show the positive financial benefit to such partnerships.

Safe Routes to Parks: The National Recreation and Park Association created a campaign around Safe Routes to Parks to implement environmental and policy strategies that create safe and equitable access to parks for all people.

Vision Zero Los Angeles: This citywide effort works toward creating safer streets and protecting the most vulnerable road users.

WALKscope Denver: WALKscope is a mobile tool for collecting data related to sidewalks, intersections, and pedestrian counts in the Denver metro area.

Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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