A Prescription for Planning

Drive through any town in the United States and you will likely notice that landscapes change from stately brick houses and white picket fences to depressed shotgun houses and chain link fences.   What you won’t notice?   As you drive toward the city center and home values decrease, a skyrocketing increase in heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure is taking place. In fact, … Continue reading A Prescription for Planning

Zombie Preparedness: A Communication Strategy for Emergency Preparedness

Zombies have become a fixture in literary and cinematic culture over the past century. The list of on-screen zombie productions is extensive, ranging from White Zombie in 1932 and Night of the Living Dead in 1968, to this year’s Patient Z and dozens of others in between. In 2016, Netflix boasted a buffet of 19 zombie-themed shows to satiate their viewers’ appetite for the undead. … Continue reading Zombie Preparedness: A Communication Strategy for Emergency Preparedness

Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

The Planner’s toolbox is being modified constantly by laws passed and policies enacted at every level of government. Being aware of existing laws, as well as proposed legislation, is important for planners, communities, and advocates working throughout the state. Here’s a sample of the planning-related bills currently under consideration at the state level in the North Carolina General Assembly: House Bill 3 / Senate Bill 34: … Continue reading Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

Pork, GRITS, and Planning

As a native North Carolinian, there are a few things that come to mind as quintessentially Southern. At the top of this list is barbecue. The smell of hickory chips, the taste of tangy vinegar, and the social ritual of the pig pickin’ are, for many, cornerstones of a place-based identity. Unfortunately, our cultural appreciation for authentic barbecue underscores a fundamental tension between the strength … Continue reading Pork, GRITS, and Planning

Bridging the Distance

Supporting Physical Activity and Active Transportation in Rural Communities A version of this piece was originally published at the Safe Routes to School Partnership website. The majority of Americans live in urban or suburban areas, though around 15 percent of Americans live in nonmetropolitan regions, which make up 72 percent of US land. Although the proportion of Americans who are rural residents has recently declined, … Continue reading Bridging the Distance

Academic Performance and Physical Activity: A Brief History Lesson

What do we know about the relationship between physical activity and fitness, and academic performance? This brief lesson, drawn from a 2014 article by Castelli and others, provides an overview of how this area of research has evolved and where we are today. Paving the Way Research on psychological benefits of physical activity began in the 1950s and 1960s, with the first large-scale study of … Continue reading Academic Performance and Physical Activity: A Brief History Lesson

Let’s Launch a Bike to Class Week

This article originally appeared in the Active Living By Design blog on August 31, 2015. As a dual degree graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) studying city and regional planning and public health, I am passionate about promoting healthy and active living. While many physical environments need to be modified or developed to facilitate active living, college … Continue reading Let’s Launch a Bike to Class Week