Trails in Indiana

Striding Toward Healthy Communities: Ellen Dunham-Jones



Indiana's Active Transportation Conference


November 14, 2012

The two largest populations of people, the baby-boomers who built and live in traditional cities; and the even larger Millenials who are now inheriting that same city form have a common yearning for at-hand life resources. New realizations about the limits of money, energy resources, needs, wants and time have changed the way they both look at their lifestyles. The boomers want to age in place in their suburban homes, but resources are not nearby. Many of the Millenials who are now populating the urban core work in the suburbs. Yet the form of the suburb---no connecting sidewalks, isolated long distances to amenities only accessible by auto, and unpleasant travel environments, prevents them from getting from their place to basically any other places for food, entertainment, culture, education, medical services and community, you name it.

Today, the Boomers combined with the Millenials total more than half of the United States population, or 160 million people. The last of the boomers is not expected to die until 2070. And, according to the most recent census data, 80% of our population lives in or near a city. The suburbs must be transformed into long-term livable, healthy additions to the urban American city.

Fortunately the dynamic nature of city planning continues to reinvent the form of the city; providing new solutions to reconfigure the suburbs to meet the changing but burgeoning needs of the city dwellers. Urban planners like Ellen Dunham-Jones, an architect from Atlanta, GA and a member of the Congress for New Urbanism,, are contributing new solutions for improving the city’s economics, health and viability particularly in the suburbs.
Using vacant big box commercial buildings and dying shopping malls, she proposes to revitalize these locations using one or a combination of three new concepts; Redevelopment, Rehabitating, or Regreening. The Indiana Trails Community video Striding Toward Healthy Communities: Ellen Dunham-Jones provides convincing facts, case studies and explanations of these concepts and why they are the best ideas to date on how to get people reconnected to their communities of nature and man and well Flourish.
By Tina Jones.