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Making Changes > Ideas > Policy Ideas

Policy Ideas - grandmother with grandsonHow rural areas and communities are run, from the government level to private businesses, affects people’s ability to make healthy choices.

Some policy ideas:

  • Connect new developments to the rest of your community (e.g., build sidewalks or trails to a new store or residential area).

  • Encourage physical activity opportunities for people of all ages at your recreational facility or community hall.

For example, during hockey practices or games at the arena, schedule an indoor walking group that walks laps through the building. You could also set up stationary bicycles in a section of the stands, so that people can ride and watch at the same time. It’s a great way to keep warm!

  • Consider your communities’ bylaws for snow clearing, road clearing and animal control. Do your bylaws support people being active safely all year round?

  • Lower speed limits on local roads to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.

  • Consider policies that demonstrate how active living for all is a high priority for the health of the community.

For instance, when a section of land is purchased or divided for a subdivision or acreages, the policies that control what developers include (e.g., green space, wide roads, trail or sidewalk, connectedness) affect the ability of future residents to be active easily.

Another example is policies within town that determine how new and existing infrastructure is developed and maintained. For instance, if a new arena is built or a new business moves into town, where are they located? Is there a maintained sidewalk to the facility? Are they close enough that people within town can walk or ride their bikes?

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