Though everyone here at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is always pleased to see so much wonderful trail building activity across the country, there is something especially exciting about our Urban Pathways Initiative (UPI).
The goal of UPI is simple: encourage trail use and stewardship in urban areas, creating safe and accessible spaces for physical activity. In particular, UPI focuses on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, where urban pathways can be a potent tool for addressing the health, social and economic disparities.
Since we launched UPI in 2009, support from The Kresge Foundation has enabled us to work directly with dozens of neighborhood-based groups, from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Calif., building a national resource of strategies for developing, promoting and programming urban pathways.
Now, we're excited to share these resources with planners and advocates across America. It's a remarkable library of educational stories of challenges and successes, and critical lessons for urban trail builders elsewhere.
"Urban Pathways to Healthy Neighborhoods: Promising Strategies for Encouraging Trail Use in Urban Communities" is a compilation of resources that includes:
- A primer on urban pathways, including a synthesis of current research on factors that contribute to use of pathways, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color;
- A series of issue summaries that explore important themes in developing, promoting and programming urban pathways: trailside gardens, safety, art, programs and connections;
- Is It Safe? Crime and Perceptions of Safety on Urban Trails, a short video that addresses personal safety on trails by visiting three urban pathways that have dealt with these issues head-on and have succeeded in creating trails that are well-used community assets.
You can browse and download these new resources online!
For more information on UPI visit www.railstotrails.org/urbanpathways.