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Over the past several years, shared use has emerged as a promising strategy for creating opportunities for physical activity, particularly in places where recreational space is scarce. Too many cities and towns lack the resources residents need to be active, and finding safe, accessible, and affordable spaces to exercise and play is more challenging than it ought to be. Further, because recreational space is not equitably distributed, not everyone has the same opportunities to be active. Low-income communities and communities of color are far less likely to have access to places to be active, and these communities are also less likely to have sufficient resources to create new recreational spaces. Shared use can play a role in helping to address this inequity and the resulting health disparities.
The way we design and build our neighborhoods can affect our physical and mental health. In this time of rising obesity rates, traffic congestion, long work hours, high stress levels, and fewer opportunities to be physical active, finding creative ways to address these issues is important. We must also consider the changing weather patterns and the possible impact on our way of life. All these factors stress the importance of designing and building healthy and vital communities that promote health.
The city of Lincoln is home to 133 miles of trails and more than 125 parks and green spaces on over 6,000 acres of public land. Lincoln's trail system consistently ranks among the best in the country. Numerous partnerships exist throughout the community to promote and encourage active living through bike lanes, bike racks on public/city buses, public pools, recreation centers, city golf courses, dog parks, skateboarding parks, signage and public awareness campaigns, and neighborhood and community events.