The Healthy Communities Active Transportation (HCAT) Conference & Workshop was held on May 9-10, 2011, at the Cleveland Play House, on the campus of Cleveland Clinic. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) joined federal, state and local partners in sponsoring Ohio’s second statewide conference on how to build healthy communities and encourage active transportation, such as biking, walking and transit.
The conference featured two nationally recognized keynote speakers who discussed how changes in the built environment have a positive effect on community health. The two morning keynote addresses were from Charlie Gandy and Dr. Michael Roizen.
Mr. Gandy is a nationally recognized expert in community design, trail planning and design, and bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. He is a popular consultant, speaker and lecturer on the leading edge of both the active living and livability conversations. As the Mobility Coordinator for Long Beach California’s Bike Long Beach program, Gandy is leading the city’s award winning “sharrow” experiment, and the 3rd and Broadway national “protected bike lane” pilot program. He also serves on the board of the California Bike Coalition.
Michael Roizen, MD, is the Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic. His first general-audience book, RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be? became a #1 New York Times bestseller and was awarded the Best Wellness Book of 1999. Dr. Roizen has given over 1,400 lectures to professional medical groups and has been recognized with over 20 professional lectureships. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, and 20/20.
Break-out sessions in the afternoon featured speakers from a variety of organizations, including: Project for Public Spaces, Complete Streets Coalition, Active Living Research, Alta Planning and Design, and Safe Routes to School National Clearinghouse. Speakers shared information on the most current standards, policies and programs used across the country. Day two featured a half-day technical training geared toward planners and engineers. Presenters provided information on the types of technical analyses that can be used to incorporate biking, walking and transit into planning documents. This information was intended to help communities prioritize capital improvements based on need and create specific action plans for their community.