Compass Blueprint Grant Supports Sustainability Plans on Long Beach Blvd
2011-03-31 · By Editor
The efforts to create a healthy and sustainable Long Beach took a big step forward with the recent award of two planning grants. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has awarded the City of Long Beach a Compass Blueprint Program award to prepare a new Specific Plan for Long Beach Boulevard, and the California Endowment through its Building Healthy Communities initiative is providing funding for a new Health and Wellness Element for the Long Beach 2030 General Plan Update. These grants represent $300,000 in new funding for community-based planning activities.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to create incentives and public investment that will help revitalize the community and transform it into an environment where people are encouraged to use public transit and ride bikes,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “I am looking forward to the public’s participation in the process to ensure that these plans reflect the needs and desires of our residents.
The goal of these community-based planning efforts is to create a shared vision for active transportation and land use policies that improve the health of Long Beach residents. They provide implementation programs and measures to revitalize the Long Beach Boulevard corridor into a community with green infrastructure and access to healthy food and mobility options.
This is great news for the city, said Councilmember Dee Andrews, 6th District. These grants allow us to explore ways to help families be more active and have healthy food options in their own neighborhoods.
The new Health Element will provide policies and programs to foster residents health and well-being and provide safe, convenient access to healthy foods and recreational opportunities for all residents. Outreach will include working with stakeholders to produce a plan that will assess development opportunities, improve pedestrian circulation and transit access, supporting an overall transit-based revitalization effort that will benefit the boulevard and neighboring community and increase access to healthy food options. The effort to create health and wellness policies will be conducted in conjunction with the Long Beach Health and Human Services Department, one of only three such municipal public health programs in the State, and the citys award-winning Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.
The Compass Blueprint Program encourages smart growth principles such as increased mobility options, compact development and sustainable practices through grant-making and promotional activities. The Building Healthy Communities program is a 10-year, $100 million initiative targeting 14 communities throughout California, including areas in Central and West Long Beach, to support systemic policy change and catalytic implementation programs to increase access to and awareness of healthy foods and physical activity.
We are extremely excited about Long Beach being awarded this grant, and wed like to thank Councilmember Dee Andrews and city staff for their continued support, said Pat Paris, Chair of the Long Beach Boulevard Taskforce Committee. This opportunity to transform Long Beach into a vibrant mixed use transit corridor has been the goal of this committee since it was formed in 2008.
Meetings on the Long Beach Boulevard Specific Plan and the Health Element are anticipated to begin in April and will occur concurrently, taking approximately 14 months to complete. To sign up to receive updates on the Long Beach Boulevard Specific Plan and the Health and Wellness Element via email, please visit www.LBDS.info.