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Building a Healthy Buffalo: A community panel and open dialogue


New York State's highest rate of cardiovascular disease is found in Erie County, and three out of five of the county's residents will develop a chronic illness, such as diabetes or cancer, in their lifetime.

While these numbers are discouraging, it is possible to move toward the goal of a healthier region by supporting walkable communities. Walkable communities give equal consideration to pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized modes of travel and can promote both physical and mental health. They also encourage social engagement and civic involvement, which have been linked to longer, healthier lives.

On Saturday, the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and its many partners will be hosting an interactive panel discussion and community dialogue on how to improve community health through the built environment. Topics of conversation will include local health disparities, street design & architecture's impact on health behaviors, and steps taken to enhance the built environment in the City of Buffalo.

Featured panelists include Dr. Kate Kraft, Executive Director of the national advocacy organization America Walks!, Steven Stepniak, Commissioner of Public Works in the City of Buffalo, Kelly Dixon, Principal Planner at GBNRTC, and Joy Kuebler, local landscape architect.

The free event will be hosted by Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center. Doors will open at 8:30 AM and the panel discussion will run from 9 - 11 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. All attendees will receive a copy of the Wellness Institute's new Healthy Neighborhoods Walkability Assessment toolkit! After the panel discussion, a relaxing complimentary 30-minute wellness walk will be offered to showcase the grounds of the historic H. H. Richardson Complex.
While the event is free and open to the public, we ask that individuals/organizations planning to attend register through the corresponding EventBrite page (Building a Healthy Buffalo!) as space is limited.

Originally posted by Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine . Republished with permission.