A city's built environment can encourage community members to live a healthy lifestyle. It is easier for people to maintain healthy habits in neighborhoods with plenty of opportunity for exercise and physical activity, and easy access to fresh, healthy food. This is often referred to as "Healthy Eating, Active Living" ("HEAL").
Policy and land use decisions play an important role in the creation and enhancement of a healthy community. Community planning impacts the health, welfare and long-term vitality of Thornton's residents and businesses. In recognition of this, the City strives to facilitate a healthy environment through a variety of long-range planning efforts, including the following.
LiveWell Colorado's Healthy Eating, Active Living Cities and Towns Campaign
In September 2013, Thornton City Council adopted a resolution affirming Thornton's commitment to encouraging healthy opportunities and choices for the community and joining LiveWell Colorado's Healthy Eating, Active Living ("HEAL") Cities and Towns Campaign. Through this campaign, LiveWell Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Municipal League (CML), provides training and technical assistance to help cities adopt policies that improve access to physical activity and healthy food in their communities.
LiveWell South Adams County
The City of Thornton also participates in the LiveWell South Adams County (LWSACO) coalition. LWSACO represents three distinct but interrelated neighborhoods: South Thornton, Old Westminster and unincorporated Perl Mack. LWSACO is a collaborative of individuals representing partner agencies from naturally-occurring county coalitions and resident groups. LWSACO aims to leverage the distinct assets of each neighborhood and the collective action of partner agencies and residents into regional impacts for healthy eating and active living in Adams County. LWSACO is headed up by the nonprofit group Community Enterprise.
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
Policy Planning collaborated with consultants and community organizations to produce a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of the South Thornton Revitalization Plan area. The report identifies opportunities for increasing access to healthy food and active living in this area. The report was completed and accepted by City Council Resolution on April 10, 2012.
Thornton's Complete Streets Policy, adopted in April 2011 and included as an amendment to the Transportation Plan, facilitates active living by ensuring that "roadways are designed and operated to be safe, comfortable, and convenient for drivers, bicyclists, transit vehicles and their users, trail users, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities."