NACDD Celebrates Its Walkability Success

For the past three years, with support from the CDC Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity, NACDD successfully led the Division’s Walkability Action Institute (WAI) project. The project involved planning and hosting a multi-day course with guided instruction and active learning on a variety of topics that collectively contribute to improved walkability through community and transportation design. The course name accurately reflects the course content which primed the attending interdisciplinary state and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) teams to act by creating a team action plan and using it to pursue policy, system, and built environment (PSE) actions in their communities. When they completed the course, teams submitted their completed plans and stayed in touch with NACDD and their peer teams through progress reports and virtual community-of-practice activities.

Over three years , 240 public health practitioners and partners from 32 diverse, interdisciplinary teams participated in NACDD’s WAI. The latest data show that these teams have collectively accomplished 217 walkability improvement outcomes with 25 efforts in progress, resulting in improved walkability for approximately 13,689,385 people, The NACDD teams also leveraged a combined $13,843,000 for ongoing implementation of walkability projects, representing a favorable return on investment for the project. Table 1 (see below) shows the results for the initial two years of the project divided into two cohorts. Results for the Year 3 cohort will be made available when progress reports are administered.

Table 1: Outcomes Achieved by Project Cohorts as of June 2017


Year 1 Cohort:

(10 state teams and two intra-state regional teams

Year 2 Cohort:

(10 MPO regional teams

Total documented outcomes 170 47 217
New policy outcomes 20 3 23
New system outcomes 18  19 
New environmental outcomes 69  73 
New non-PSE outcomes  53  38  91 
New tools developed 
New resources developed
Additional outcomes in progress 10  15  25 
Total estimated number of persons reached  10,945,787  2,743,598  13,689,385 
Dollars leveraged  $11,506,500  $2,336,500  $13,689,385
Estimated cohort ROI  57:5:1  7:8:1   

NACDD appreciates the hard work and dedication of the WAI teams for making communities and states more active, walkable, and better-designed.

To learn more about NACDD’s walkability efforts or find out how to implement active community environments in your own community, please contact Karma Harris (

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