FITNESS AND WELLNESS
A Town’s Quest for Health
In 2011, Deborah Ryan, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UNCC, took an interest in the planning and policies of Davidson that could lead to our community’s overall health. She and her students spent a semester in town interviewing leaders and staff members about how the town’s ordinance naturally lent itself to citizens’ ability to be healthy. Whether it was the Farmers’ Market or bike paths, greenways, sidewalks, or parks, the students discovered that Davidsonians had abundant access to a healthy environment.
Professor Ryan’s students then wrote a book about their findings, called “Davidson, North Carolina – Small Town Fit: Healthy People, Places, and Policies.” In the foreword to the book, Ryan states “In 2010, the Town Board continued a show of visionary leadership by adopting the Davidson Comprehensive Plan and a renewed vision as expressed through core values that focused on the creation and preservation of a healthy environment, village-centered growth with connection of neighborhoods via sidewalks, bike paths, greenways, connected streets, and transit; reservation of rural areas; provision of public spaces; and, protection of watersheds, trees, air quality, and other elements of the town’s ecology.”
Consequently, this column on Fitness and Wellness is a timely one for Davidson in our ongoing quest to be healthy. The writers will tell us about elements of their fields that we can adapt and use in our own lives and make suggestions based on their experience and training.
Welcome to Rachael, Matt, and Cat! We are excited to learn from you and reap the benefits of your ideas for how to become our best, healthy selves.