Shape Your World Launches, Invites Citizens to Join Movement

April 4, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — All across North Carolina, from Ahoskie to Charlotte, citizens are joining Shape Your World, a statewide movement that is creating safer, healthier, more connected communities.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110404/NY76109)

Shape Your World officially launches April 4 and will provide North Carolinians with the inspiration, connections and tools to take a more active role in the development of their community’s built environment. By visiting www.ShapeYourWorldNC.com, citizens can find resources helpful in assessing their neighborhoods’ “walkability,” attending a planning commission meeting, starting a petition, or writing a letter to the editor. Print ads placed in local newspapers and in NC editions of major national magazines such as Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Time will help North Carolinians see their world differently and imagine how they can shape it. Finally, they will have opportunities to connect with the campaign and other citizens online via Facebook and Twitter or in person at events throughout the summer and fall.

“Improving our built environment is not just about designing new things like trails, greenways and parks,” said Steve Bevington, Shape Your World Director. “It’s about what we are able to do in our communities: how we talk to our neighbors in the evenings, how we pass the time with our families on the weekends, how we take our children to school and playgrounds, and how we travel to work day in and day out. These are all part of our built environment and we have the opportunity to shape it.”

Already, more than 500 middle and high school students in six North Carolina counties have joined Shape Your World by participating in a video contest — Lights, Camera, Active! Students filmed the trails where they run, the soccer fields where they compete and the parks where they play, and spoke on-camera about how the current built environment impacts their lives. The videos will premiere at community events throughout the state April 7 through May 5. (Visit www.shapeyourworldnc.com/see-student-films for locations and event details.)

In many North Carolina communities, citizens are seeking new walking trails, streetlights, bike lanes, community gardens, and safer crosswalks. In other towns and cities, people are coming together to prevent construction that could harm the built environment — for example, stopping the addition of more lanes to major highways that increases car traffic and promotes sprawl. Many improvements ultimately will require changes in public policy.

A study from the Corporation for National Community Service found that two out of three adults said they are willing to take action to support policy changes that will make walking and biking easier in their neighborhoods. But making changes to the built environment can be challenging and complex.

“If we want our communities to be safer, healthier and more connected, we need to give citizens the tools, resources and motivation to make their voices heard,” said Sarah Strunk, Director of Active Living By Design, part of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “It can result in safer places for our kids to play, more opportunities for us to bike or walk from place to place, and more attractive towns for our businesses to grow. Most importantly, it means making it easier for us to connect to those people, activities and places that make living in North Carolina so special.”

Shape Your World is the product of years of work by numerous partnerships and coalitions across North Carolina. (Visit www.shapeyourworldnc.com/see-faq to learn about the partners who are behind this effort.) Partnerships, like these, will continue to play a critical role in engaging citizens and groups throughout North Carolina to shape their worlds.

    Contact:    Kathryn Vose
                336.724.0450 x141

SOURCE Shape Your World

Source: newswire

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