Sidewalk prioritization model with City of Fort Collins
A health and equity score at the block group level was created so that the City of Fort Collins can better prioritize sidewalk improvements. The score is based on proportion of the population affiliated with ten health and socio-economic factors: under 18, 65 or older, households at or below federal poverty level, Hispanic/Latino, non-white, households without a vehicle, disability status, obesity in adults, no leisure time physical activity in adults, and poor mental health for more than 14 days in adults. This ranking is not to be used in isolation; rather it will be combined with the City’s current identified priority pedestrian network. In time, it should also incorporate safety factors such as roadway width, speed limit, and vehicle crashes.

Hickory Village Mobile Home Park
Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant application (summary available here as Google Doc). We helped neighbors of Hickory Village Mobile Home Park successfully apply for the installation of a volleyball court at nearby Soft Gold Park--a neighborhood improvement that the group had been trying to advocate for without success over the past few years--through a Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant from the City of Fort Collins Neighborhood Services department. We assisted the community throughout the entire process, from coordinating neighborhood meetings and identifying neighborhood improvement priorities, to determining project proposal details, communicating with relevant government staff, and filling out and submitting the application.

Lago Vista Photovoice
In collaboration with the Colorado Trust, we have been working with neighbors of the Lago Vista Mobile Home Park to identify neighborhood improvement priorities. Community members have expressed concerns with the lack of walking infrastructure surrounding the neighborhood: a grocery store and a public park are located within walking distance but there are no sidewalks or safe street crossings for the community to get there. As part of our work with the neighborhood, we have helped facilitate the development of a PhotoVoice project and are assisting them in communicating their concerns to relevant government staff.

Neighborhood Infrastructure Prioritization
As part of our work with Hickory Village Mobile Home Park neighbors, we led activities to identify their priorities for infrastructure improvements around the neighborhood. Some ideas that neighbors mentioned on a repeatedly were in relation to nearby Soft Gold Park and included the need for more amenities such as picnic tables, trash cans, signage, and trees. We helped communicate these needs to relevant staff at the Parks department, who installed more of these amenities around the park.

Policy Scan
The policy scan compiles information from planning documents, surveys, and interviews, attempts to provide a foundation for understanding policies within Larimer County, Fort Collins, and Loveland that promote or hinder health and equity in the built environment. By understanding the policies that contribute to our built environment, we can begin to incorporate proven interventions that promote positive health outcomes for the entire community.

Partner Scan
In collaboration with the Community Engagement Working Group, we conducted an assessment among organizations working on built environment topics or providing services to communities disproportionately impacted by the built environment with the purpose of identifying gaps and opportunities for collaboration with organizations and local stakeholders. The assessment explored practices and policies for community engagement, capacity building, and partnering, and identified three areas of opportunity:

a) increase organizational guidance and skills for staff to engage community members

b) provide staff capacity to establish formal partnerships with community groups and organizations; and

c) for organizations that promote built environment policies and infrastructure, to strengthen collaborations with partners that provide services directly to community members. A summary of preliminary findings can be found here.

Photovoice (widely-disseminated photovoice repository/platform for uploading) (sample album available here as Tumblr page using Lago Vista Photovoice; sample how-to materials available here in Google Drive) . This online album is a tool to help community members share with each other how different elements in the community make it easy—or difficult—to live actively: walk, bike, go to the park, take public transportation, and more. Through this album, community members can share photos and short captions of built environment elements and use them to support their efforts to improve their communities.

Best Practices Scan
The Best Practice Scan builds on previous work to understand community context, including a Policy and Partner Scan. The Policy Scan expanded our understanding of the existing plans, policies, and processes that inform the way our communities are designed and built. The Partner Scan identified assets and gaps in the way organizations collaborate with each and work with individuals disproportionately affected by the built environment. The findings of the Best Practice scan will allow our Program to better advise organizations and groups seeking technical assistance.  The topics explored are:

  1. Education
    Strategies to increase collaboration across sectors and raise awareness about how the built environment impacts health
  2. Resident Engagement
    Processes for involving community members in public decision-making processes, internal organizational policies that support reaching under-represented community groups to identify their priorities, allocation of funding to support resident engagement, and partnerships and collaborations that support resident engagement.
  3. Built Environment Policy and Systems
    Partnerships and collaboration, transportation accessibility and availability, land use and zoning, development, and housing

Maps (Health Equity Index)
Health Equity Index
The Health Equity Index displays compiled and ranked data and is intended to be used by decision makers as a tool to identify potentially vulnerable communities. It is a weighted index, made up of two separately calculated scores to determine geographic areas of highest needs. The first component (70% of the Health Equity Index) is the “Equity Score.” It is a compilation and ranking of seven socioeconomic factors using the most recent American Community Survey 5-year estimates (U.S. Census). The seven factors used to create the score are recognized as characteristics that could indicate vulnerability: under 18, 65 or older, households at or below Federal Poverty Level, Hispanic/Latino, non-white, households without a vehicle, and disability status.  The second component of the Health Equity Index is a “Health Score,” which is compiled and ranked from 500 Cities Data (Center for Disease Control). The three factors used to create the “Health Score” are obesity in adults, no leisure time physical activity in adults, and poor mental health for more than 14 days in adults.


  • Training for North Front Range MPO, City of Loveland and Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, Biking, walking and transit infrastructure audits
  • Pathways to Health: Hosted in partnership with Bike Fort Collins in February 2017, the Pathways to Health event explored how planning with a lens for health can create vibrant communities that are engaged, healthy, and inclusive. The event featured keynote speaker Dr. Jackson and a closing session led by Naomi Doerner.  (Links to both videos can be found here: http://bikefortcollins.org/pathways)
  • Outreach to communities through trusted partners and community events. We aim at supporting efforts to improve their communities by individuals and groups that face additional barriers to participating in civic processes (for example, individuals whose special needs, age, family situation, mobility restrictions, native language, comfort interacting with government, or any other characteristic, represents an additional barrier to attend and participate in public meetings). To reach these individuals and groups we partner with organizations trusted by community members (such as, Vida Sana, The Family Center/La Familia, and school district Family Liaisons staff) and meet community members where they are--at their neighborhoods and at community events such as family resource fairs and neighborhood gatherings.
  • Newsletter

Built Environment

Brooke Bettolo
Health Educator
Built Environment Program
Email: bbettolo@larimer.org