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The Source: San Antonio's Built Environment Affects Health

Brandon Watts | https://www.flickr.com/photos/wattsbw2004/6819759428

It is well known that San Antonio has a weight problem, with an obesity rate keeping it in the top five for fattest cities. But what about the city's built environment is contributing to the problem? Access to safe bicycle trails and streets, parks within a certain distance of residential areas, and plentiful pedestrian areas are all some of the thing that make city's healthier say city planners.

It is something the city hopes to dive into and educate itself and others on through its Built Environment Conference going on Friday

David Clear, livability coordinator for San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District says the city has made a lot of progress on this front.

"We certainly have put a lot of miles of bike lanes over the years. That is a testament to a lot of the progress that is happening," Clear says. Despite these gains, he acknowledges there are still a lot of safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists. 

A report out by the National Complete Streets Coalition last year ranked San Antonio as 18th most dangerous city in the U.S. for pedestrians. Shirley Gonzalez, council member for district five, has launched a Vision Zero public awareness campaign she hopes to reduce pedestrian deaths.

But what else can be done to make our city healthier? 


  • Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
  • David Clear, Livability Coordinator for the City of San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District