Livable Streets

Overview and Challenge

What zip code you live in can determine more about your health outcomes than your income or race. (Read more about your location impacts your health.) More Missourians have to manage multiple chronic diseases with limited access to easy ways to get active. The Missouri Livable Streets project set out to change that fact among rural audiences by increasing awareness of Complete or Livable Streets design concepts in the Heartland.

Research

For this project, the HCRC knew that there were many bridges to cross: the idea of Complete or Livable Streets; the growing need to depend on cars and automobiles to navigate everyday life; the realization that many rural communities just wouldn’t have the funds to put in sidewalks or bike paths, particularly when bicycling was seen to be leftist or a city-issue, and not a rural one.

First the HCRC looked at existing and new potential partnerships across the state. Missouri is lucky to have several effective bicycle/pedestrian advocacy groups within the state to work with, and the HCRC was aware that any campaign would need to be mindful that its messages dovetailed with the messages the advocacy groups were already sharing in their areas.

Considering rural or underserved audiences, the HCRC conducted reviews of the built environment literature, held focus groups, conducted surveys, and key informant interviews to understand the issues and needs facing rural Missourians. From our work, we ranked key themes and barriers and determined that safety and the economic value were the two primary messages that local citizens and policy makers needed to hear.

Strategy and Creative Direction

To drive the campaign, the HCRC looked to social cognitive and norming theories to support our work. The campaign’s messaging and the overall look and feel had to be simple, easy and relatable to Missourians who live outside the I-44, I-70 and I-55 corridors. The team oversaw the branding development of Missouri Livable Streets, including a web site, collateral materials, a discussion list serv and an e-newsletter. The team also wrote and developed stories for a Livable Streets blog and developed a radio and TV media buy to build awareness and support for safer, more walkable streets and neighborhoods.

Results

The cornerstone of the campaign was the development of web videos featuring everyday Missourians from rural communities who are working to make their own towns safer and more friendly for residents to use, no matter how they travel. To date, six videos have been produced and will be rolled out during strategic times in 2012. Since the campaign launched, we have reached more than one million Missourians

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