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Active Living Logan Square

Joining Together to Create Opportunities for Physical Activity

      Background

      The Active Living Logan Square target audience is the community of the southwest corner of Logan Square, an urban Chicago community of 84,466 residents, mostly Latinos. Through the Active Living by Design (ALbD) initiative, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association leveraged its 48 years of existence in the neighborhood to create opportunities and build partnerships.

      Intervention

      Activities addressed three primary goals: (1) enhance school environments and practices to support physical activity before, during, and after the school day; (2) encourage individuals and families to enjoy outdoor activities in their own communities; and (3) create safe, inviting places for activity that connect to surrounding communities. The partnership's participatory approach involved a variety of community stakeholders in developing and implementing affordable, accessible, culturally acceptable, and sustainable physical activities for children and their families.

      Results

      The partnership successfully piloted Open Streets (temporary street closures) and advocated for development of the Bloomingdale Trail, an elevated rails-to-trails project. In schools, the partnership changed the culture at McAuliffe Elementary to support healthy behaviors through new policies, physical projects, and programs.

      Lessons learned

      Vital components of the project's success included a full-time coordinator with strong community ties; time to build healthy relationships within the partnership and community; the use of culturally relevant strategies; and flexibility to welcome complementary opportunities.

      Conclusions

      The partnership intentionally did not produce a single community-recognized campaign; instead, it chose to use limited resources to promote tangible programs and projects that led to sustainable and replicable changes that promote physical activity.
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