Banner: Active Spaces

Latino kids in underserved communities have limited options for physical activity, which is part of the reason they are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers.

How can physical activity be part of their daily experience?

The best ways to improve access to and safe use of “active spaces”— gyms, athletic fields, parks, and playgrounds—include: adopting shared use agreements; improving neighborhood characteristics, such as repairing sidewalks, installing street lights, and improving park maintenance; creating safer routes to active spaces; and using marketing and technology to change Latino kids’ physical activity patterns.

Download Our New 2016 Active Spaces Research Review, Issue Brief, and Infographics!

Research_reviewResearch Review
Active-Spaces-Template2Issue Brief
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.50.37 AMInfographic: Safe Neighborhoods
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.53.37 AMInfographic: Safe Streets
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.54.53 AMInfographic: Shared Use

Active Spaces: What‘s New?

See SA! Changes SA! Resources Salud Heroes in this topic.

SA! Resource Physical Activity Releases Brain-Healthy Protein


A growing body of research suggests that physical activity is associated with maintaining a strong and healthy mind, boosting memory and learning, and possibly delaying age-related cognitive decline. A new study supported by the National Institute for Health (NIH) and published in Cell Metabolism found a specific protein secreted by skeletal muscle cells during physical activity that enters the … Read more

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SA! Resource Webinar: Exploring Local Ballot Initiatives to Advance Active Transportation Projects

Advocacy coalitions

America Walks hosted a webinar, “Exploring Local Ballot Initiatives” to advance active transportation projects. The webinar showcased the tools and resources available at the Center for Transportation Excellence and three professionals talked about the various ways local ballot initiatives can be used to support and develop projects related to active transportation to make America a great place … Read more

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SA! Change New York to Invest $110 Million in Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian safety before and after

New York

Over half of the 4,303 fatal and injury crashes in Upstate New York and Long Island between 2011 and 2015 occurred at an intersection. In June 2016, New York (18.8% Latino) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York State Departments of Transportation and Health teamed up with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to … Read more

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SA! Change Urban Green Space Fights Crime

green space ohio

Youngstown, Ohio

When communities consider projects to reduce crime, promoting green space is gaining popularity. And credibility. There is evidence that vacant lots play a role in the health and safety of nearby residents. Although the specific mechanism by which green space-trees, shrubs, and lawns-affects behavior is unclear, adding green space to vacant or blighted areas is linked to reduced … Read more

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SA! Change Minneapolis School Board and Park Board Approve MOU for City Swims Program

vamosswimming -a-nadar2

Minneapolis Public School District, Minnesota

Grassroots efforts to improve equitable access to swimming facilities in a low-income neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. (10.5% Latino), spurred a formalized Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the school board and parks board to more efficiently provide accessible, inclusive, high quality athletic and fitness opportunities and facilities for all children in Minneapolis. On June 14, 2016 the Minneapolis Public … Read more

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SA! Resource Disparities in Adolescents Living in Neighborhoods that Support Physical Activity


Disparities in exist in the proportion of adolescents who live in neighborhoods that support physical activity, defined as neighborhoods that are perceived as safe and have sidewalks or walking paths and parks, playgrounds, or recreation centers. In the June 17, 2016 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) … Read more

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SA! Resource AllTransit Data Tools Analyze Social Benefits of Quality Transit


AllTransit represents the largest source of user-friendly transit connectivity, access, and frequency data in America, using publicly available General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data and new data created by Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and with funding from TransitCenter. AllTransit analyzes the social benefits of good transit service through the lenses of health, equity, and economic … Read more

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SA! Change Foot Traffic Ahead 2016: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros


United States

LOCUS and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business released Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, a report ranking the country’s 30 largest metropolitan areas focusing on walkable urban places (WalkUPs). LOCUS is Latin for “place.” Place is important. According to the report, places with the highest levels of walkable … Read more

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Salud Hero Neighbors, Leaders Work Together to Turn Busy Street into a Pedestrian-Safe Destination in Colorado

Westwood residents work on prioritizing what they want to see in their neighborhood. (Source: David Sachs/Sreets Blog Denver)

Westwood, Colorado

Kids can’t play and people can’t walk on busy, unsafe streets. That’s why neighborhood leaders and residents like Paul D. López and Fany Mendez in the Denver, Colo., neighborhood of Westwood worked together with organizations to tackle safety concerns on Morrison Road, an arterial street that ran through their neighborhood. Their efforts led to a … Read more

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Salud Hero Advocates Help Open an Exercise and Learning Center in Denver’s Westwood Neighborhood

La Casita, located 3790 Morrison Road in the Westwood Neighborhood in Denver, Colorado.
(Source: La Casita Website)

Westwood, Colorado

Westwood Unidos and Re:Vision, two local organizations in the Westwood neighborhood of Denver, Colo. (31.2% Latino population) were already working to make the area a healthier place for families. Westwood Unidos organized local community members, like Fany Mendez, to teach fitness classes in their spare time wherever they could, such as schools, churches, and even … Read more

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SA! Resource Infographic: El Papel Del Transporte en la Promocion de la Actividad Fisica


Active Living Research (ALR) translated their popular The Role of Transportation in Promoting Physical Activity infographic into Spanish. This infographic highlights evidence that sidewalks, connected bike facilities, public transportation, and traffic calming are successful strategies that support active modes of transportation, Findings presented in this infographic come from a related ALR research review about how policies can encourage walking and … Read more

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SA! Change A Proposal to Fix American Soccer’s Diversity Problem

soccer kids diversity

United States

In 2013, Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers and Greg Kaplan, a University of Chicago economics professor, looked at the effects of the pay-to-play system on American soccer by looking at socio-economic data of pro basketball, football, and soccer players from 1993 to 2013. They found the soccer players came from communities that had higher incomes, education, and … Read more

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SA! Change San Antonio Neighborhood is Combatting Crime by Shooting Hoops and Revitalizing Parks

Source: Rivard Report. Photo by Scott Ball

San Antonio, Texas

A Summer 3 on 3 Throwdown basketball tournament, hosted byThe Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association in Eastside San Antonio, TX is one of many initiatives to revitalize a neglected neighborhood. In addition to the physical activity itself, the goal of the tournament is to get kids off the street and bring the community together. It is a precursor to a Midnight … Read more

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SA! Change Researchers Look into Sedentary Habits and Heart Disease Among Latino Women

New Study Sedentary Latina

San Diego, California

Researchers at the newly created Women’s Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University have started a four-year, $3.7 million study to look at the link between sedentary habits and cardiovascular health among Hispanic and Latino women over 55. The study is funded by the American Heart Association’s Go … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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