Photo by RTC/JakeLynch

Many low-income populations and communities of color in urban areas confront the problems of obesity, congestion and scarcity of open space on a daily basis. Promoting use of shared-use pathways and providing neighborhood-based trail programming can help address these challenges in important and impactful ways.

RTC’s Urban Pathways Initiative (UPI) links community-based advocates and professionals across the nation working to encourage physical activity, active transportation and recreation options in neighborhoods surrounding urban pathways.

Past UPI Successes

Fostering Community Pride

With leadership funding from The Kresge Foundation, RTC provided in-depth technical assistance to seven urban pathways across the country from 2009 to 2011. By engaging with local partners, RTC assisted these communities in identifying and implementing improvements to enhance and foster community ownership of existing trails.

Support was provided to the following urban pathways:

  • Metropolitan Branch Trail, Washington, D.C.
  • S-Line Urban Greenway, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Lafitte Greenway, New Orleans, La.
  • Morgana Run Trail, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Camden Greenways & Trails, Camden, N.J.
  • Compton Creek Bike Path, Compton, Calif.
  • Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway, Springfield, Mass.

Bringing People Together

During the three-year UPI initiative, advocates of urban pathways from more than 25 cities across the nation convened to share, discuss and learn about encourage use of, and improving access to, trials in their communities.

These national UPI summits took place in New Orleans, La. (2010), Cleveland, Ohio (2011), and Camden, N.J. (2012).

Many connections and many friends were made!

Urban Pathways to Healthy Neighborhoods Series

The Urban Pathways to Healthy Neighborhoods: Promising Strategies for Encouraging Trail Use in Urban Communities report is a primer that presents evidence to support the need for, and importance of, urban trail development.

This report and its related issue summaries—which cover Art, Gardens, Connections, Personal Safety, and Promotion and Programs—explore best practices and lessons learned from select urban trail communities across America.

The entire series is available for download below:

Is It Safe?

RTC produced this short film, “Is it Safe?” which explores strategies to prevent crime and violence, and how those strategies can also address safety concerns that might discourage trail use.  Learn how three communities addressed trail safety head-on and succeeded in creating well-used community assets.