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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

New Walk [Your City] Walkability Toolkit Funded

Matt Tomasulo hangs the original WalkRaleigh project signs in 2012.

Matt Tomasulo hangs the original WalkRaleigh project signs in 2012.

Walk [Your City] (WYC), a Raleigh-based civic startup focused on building more livable cities, will develop an online walkability toolkit that will allow people to get involved in making their communities more vibrant and walkable.

Supported by $182,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the toolkit will be piloted in Lexington, Ky., and San Jose, Calif., with the aim of helping cities across the country increase civic participation, and encourage residents to help create the cities they want to live in.

City leaders are increasingly recognizing that a thriving, walkable urban core is essential to keeping and attracting the young talent that contributes to healthy economies. In 2010, young adults were 51 percent more likely than other Americans to live in neighborhoods close to the central business district, up from 10 percent in 1980. Yet, proximity does not necessarily translate into civic participation: For example, mayoral election turnout in large U.S. cities rests at 25.8 percent.Walk [Your City] will help local residents and city partners step toward greater civic engagement. The startup has developed online tools that people can use to create street signs, highlighting how easy it is to walk in their city. Signs may say: “It’s a 7-minute walk to downtown” or “It’s a 10-minute walk to Central Park.” The software also allows people to manage campaigns and collect data around use of the signs.

Learn more about WYC and its start in Raleigh.

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