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Blueprint America - launched in 2008 by Thirteen/WNET with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation - is a multi-platform initiative that shines a spotlight on America's decaying and neglected infrastructure. The rusting bridges, overcrowded airports, endless traffic jams, suburban sprawl, choked tanker terminals, lack of public transportation, water shortages and rolling brownouts are just the most visible signs of neglect, but the issues run deeper. 

They represent a wake-up call about our nation's ability to face the social, economic and environmental challenges of the future.  Blueprint America takes a look at how these issues impact us at national and local levels and underscores the need for a coherent, shared vision of how our nation will begin to address the problems of growth and the sustainability of our standard of living.

WHRO joined ten public media stations to contribute to Blueprint America's "Livable Future: Local Solutions" project, reporting on local, state, and federal efforts to use transportation and transportation policy to create more equitable, convenient, greener, cleaner, and healthier communities. WHRO, in partnership with Healthy Portsmouth, produced two videos to highlight the relationship between transportation and health and to promote the benefits of more walkable and bikeable communities.

Healthy Portsmouth is a city-wide health and wellness initiative led by a group of community leaders committed to changing the policies, systems and environments that affect neighborhoods, schools and workplaces in order to improve the health of citizens in Portsmouth, VA.  A "windshield tour" of the city gave initiative leaders and city planners a look at some key areas where improvement was needed to increase the city's walkability/bikeability. Community forums enabled members of the community to put forth ideas, including expanding public transit, transforming waterways to accommodate kayaking, and bringing in more fresh, affordable produce to underserved areas of the city. 

 

 

Resources

- Watch Infrastructure Videos as Archived by PBS

- Walk Friendly Communities
Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a higher priority for supporting safer walking environment.