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Urban Pathways to Healthy Neighborhoods

Explore unique approaches to developing, programming and improving urban pathways. View and download the Urban Pathways primer (at right) and issue summaries below.

Conducting community outreach and providing programs can extend the benefits of the trail into the nearby community.

In many urban areas, crime and safety are serious, pervasive issues, and even the perception of trail safety can influence trail use.

Urban pathways and gardens are a kindred pair—both enhance community health by providing opportunities for physical activity and increasing access to fresh, healthy foods.

Public art gives a sense of destination, highlights community identity and adds interest to urban trails.

Explore different approaches to connecting urban pathways to bicycle and pedestrian networks, transit, parks and greenspace, and other community destinations.

Project Assistance and Community Assessments
RTC provided multi-year, in-depth technical assistance to urban pathways across the country by engaging with local partners to identify and implement improvements that will enhance access and foster community ownership of existing trails.

UPI Summits
More than 100 advocates of urban pathways from more than 25 cities across the nation, in the nonprofit, private and public sectors, engaged with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's UPI summits in New Orleans, La., and Cleveland, Ohio.


Urban Pathways to Healthy
Neighborhoods: Promising Strategies
for Encouraging Trail Use
in Urban Communities

is a primer that presents evidence
to support the need for and
importance of urban pathways.

Download accompanying issue summaries:
Programs, Safety, Gardens, Art and Connections

Is It Safe?
Crime and Perceptions of Safety
on Urban Pathways

This short film visits urban pathways in three cities that addressed trail safety head-on
and have succeeded in creating trails that are well-used community assets.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037