Richland County, Ohio

Mentorship to support implementation of Active Design in rural revitalization efforts

When Richland Public Health (RPH) received a Creating Healthy Communities grant, they were thrilled to work on increasing opportunities for physical activity and healthy living for the residents of Richland County, Ohio. RPH reached out to the Center for Active Design, and the team collaborated to host “Active Design: Redefining Richland”—a full-day workshop that convened nearly 50 multi-disciplinary stakeholders around cultivating a healthier, more active community.

This collaboration explored opportunities to introduce Active Design strategies within the City of Mansfield (pop 46,000) and Richland County, a largely rural, economically challenged community that has one of the highest rates of adult obesity in the state of Ohio.


  • Workshop planning + facilitation. In the months leading up to the workshop, CfAD worked with RPH to design a full-day workshop to engage stakeholders on Active Design and complete streets. Speakers helped establish a common understanding of key concepts, and illuminated success stories from communities around Ohio and beyond. Participants shared their own thoughts through hands-on, participatory activities—including a mapping activity, a street design exercise, and a community walk audit. This diverse program succeeded in sparking new ideas, generating unique community solutions, and empowering a range of professionals to work together on health-promoting design opportunities.
  • Report + advocacy tool. (Available for download at top right.) CfAD created a Workshop Summary Report to be used as an attractive, easy-to-read advocacy tool that summarizes the results of the workshop and outlines an emerging implementation framework. This tool is now being used by RPH and other stakeholders to galvanize support around healthy built environment changes.

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Related Pages

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    After presentations, the workshop engaged participants in hands-on activities to put new concepts into practice.
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    A complete streets game gave participants an opportunity to redesign familiar streetscapes to better suit their goals for community health.
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    The community walk audit empowered participants to understand the ways in which their environments add and detract from their health, enabling them to identify key opportunities for implementation changes.