Thursday, January 14, 2010

Urbana City Council Goals Promote Community Health and Wellness

The draft 2009-2013 Urbana City Council and Mayor Goals represent core principles that will guide city governance and planning over the next four years. The goals address six key areas: Public Safety, Financial Sustainability, Economic Development, Downtown Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Quality of Life.

The Council also developed strategies to help guide the community toward reaching these goals. Described below are several of the strategies that will enhance opportunities for healthy eating and active living in Urbana and help promote communitywide health and wellness.
Strategy: Become a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community that promotes sustainable transportation modes.

a. Implement the Bicycle Master Plan and continue to incorporate bicycle facilities as the city expands or redevelops.

b. Develop community-wide bicycle safety education programs and provide appropriate enforcement, education and signage for bike routes.

c. Support the Safe Routes to School program to encourage walking and biking to school.

d. Adopt a "complete streets" policy that promotes pedestrian, bicycle and public transit.

e. Work with other agencies to develop regional recreational facilities such as the "Rails to Trails" project between Urbana and Danville.

Strategy: Promote production, accessibility and affordability of local farm and artisan products.

a. Develop a Strategic Plan and appoint an Advisory Board for the Urbana Market at the Square.

b. Implement use of Electronic Benefits Transfer cards at the Urbana Market.

c. Establish a "Friends of the Market" not-for-profit organization to raise funds for educational programming, artistic events, infrastructure improvements and other needs.

d. Establish a year-round, permanent location for the Market with a commerical kitchen that can be rented by vendors. This could expand the types of products offered, provide opportunities for small businesses, and provide space for classes in food preservation and preparation.

Strategy: Encourage sustainable landscaping and gardening.
a. Consider installation of a model community garden at the Urbana City Building.
Strategy: Promote continued intergovernmental cooperation.

a. Work with school and park district officials to ensure that recreational opportunities are available to youth in underserved neighbhorhoods, especially in east and north Urbana.

b. Explore development of community centers or meeting spaces to serve the needs of youth and adults related to education, training, guided activities and communication technologies.

c. Adopt the Mayor's Action Challenge for Children and Families sponsored by the National League of Cities.

The City Council will adopt these Goals in late January or early February, 2010. For more information, view the complete list at: Urbana City Council and Mayor Goals, 2009-2013.

Other resources:

Safe Routes to Schools
Urbana Market at the Square