International Valley Health Institute
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Trends in 21st Century Cities:

Reimagining Our Cities for Prosperity, Health & Happiness

Our community lies in the poorest metropolitan county and the most obese metro area in the country. We have therefore developed a project to attack these problems by preventing obesity in the community by promoting bicycling, walking, and overall recreational endeavors. 

Our goal in this  project is to show the community the advantages to be gained for school children, the school district, the city, and community members  in bicycling, walking, and the overall promotion of recreation

Events and Projects 
August 29, 2012

Presentation by Gil Peñalosa

Edinburg Community Summit

City Council Chamber, Edinburg City Hall

Mr. Peñalosa proposes that cities ideally are liveable for people from age 8 to age 80; that is, people in that age range should be able to walk and bicycle safely in our cities. He notes the need for more parks within walking distance of residences and more connectivity (sidewalks and protected bike tracks) of the parks with residential and shopping areas. The result would be greater numbers of people on foot and bicycles, more commerce for small businesses, and a more economical  and healthy ways of life.


Audience Evaluation
The Edinburg Community Summit drew an audience of approximately 180 people of whom 153 responded to our request for an evaluation. Evaluation participants included 47% from Edinburg and 51% were from other cities in Hidalgo County. The audience also included at least 3 people from Cameron County and 2 came from Austin, Texas, who did not contribute to the evaluation.
  • The clarity and effectiveness of the presentation was rated as excellent by 81% of the attendees.
  • Overall 92% of the participants believed that Gil Peñalosa’s ideas should be followed in urban planning in Edinburg and Hidalgo County.
  • About 85% felt that “Where I live, I would like it to be possible for people ages 8 to 80 years of age to be able to walk and bicycle to get to parks, shops, and other destinations.”
  • Of attendees, 79% believe that “Cities with more bicycling and pedestrian traffic will have a greater sense of community because people will meet on the street and get to know one another.”
  • Approximately 89% of the attendees believed that “If our population were more physically active, we would have lower rates of obesity and therefore fewer problems with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.”

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