Built Environment

Built environment is simply the infrastructure that makes up our community surroundings – human-built structures such as homes, schools and workplaces, transportation systems including roads and rail, green spaces such as parks and trails, and our energy and water networks. These factors affect numerous choices we make every day that can impact our health, including how we commute to work, what we eat, drink, and breathe, and how we play.

At the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, we envision built environments that promote healthy lifestyles. Communities with safe roads, clean air and water, sustainable buildings, adequate outdoor space for the community – all of the things that provide individuals the best opportunity to live healthy lives.





  • Building a Healthier Heartland

  • Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, April 2011.

  • Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).

  • provides bike-related news and information from around Metropolitan Kansas City.

  • Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). MetroGreen is an interconnected system of public and private natural areas, greenways and trails linking communities throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. The 1,144-mile greenway plan covers Leavenworth, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri.

  • Kansas City public transit, including bus routes.


  • The Brookings Institution, May 2011.

  • League of American Bicyclists

  • Source: walkscore.com

  • The Commonwealth Fund, May 2010

  • Prevention Institute, July 2004.

  • University of California-Berkeley.

  • Alliance for Biking and Walking, January 2010


  • Pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle in locations without sidewalks.

    Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership: http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/mediacenter/quickfacts

  • Children exposed to traffic pollution are more likely to have asthma, permanent lung deficits, and a higher risk of heart and lung problems as adults.

    Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership: http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/mediacenter/quickfacts


  • Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri have over 17,000 acres of parks, or 8.6% of the total acreage.

    2010 City Park Facts, The Trust for Public Land

  • In 2008, Kansas City ranked 34th out of the 40 largest U.S. cities in walkability.

    2008 walkscore.com City Rankings: http://www.walkscore.com/2008/

  • The League of American Bicyclists has designated the following regional communities with bicycle friendly status:

    • Columbia, Missouri (Silver Level)
      - Kansas City, Missouri (Bronze Level)
    • Springfield, Missouri (Bronze Level)
    • St. Louis, Missouri (Bronze Level)
    • Lawrence, Kansas (Bronze Level)
      - Shawnee, Kansas (Bronze Level)

    League of American Bicyclists, May 2011.

  • While Kansas City, Missouri experienced a 125 percent increase in bicycle commuting from 2000-2009, bicyclists only make up 0.28% of commuters, placing Kansas City 63rd out of the 70 largest communities.

    2009 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau

  • Nearly 3 percent of commuters are walkers in Kansas City, Missouri, which is up 31% since 2008. This ranks 43rd out of the 70 largest cities in terms of walking commuters.

    2009 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau

  • In 2009, 81% of commuters drove alone in Kansas City, Missouri, and 3.4% used public transportation.

    2009 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau

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