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Community Design

Tracking Community Design

Examining elements of community design, such as motor vehicle-related fatalities and types of transportation to work, can help inform community design decisions. Multiple agencies monitor these elements and related environmental and health impacts to make sure that people live in healthy environments. The community design data used on the Tracking Network are developed from a combination of resources.

Access to Parks and Public Schools

Park data come from NAVTEQ, a commercial company that provides GIS data. School data come from the National Center for Educational Statistics which provides street addresses for each school record.

Motor Vehicle Related Fatalities

The motor vehicle-related fatality data are available from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). FARS contains data on all vehicle crashes in the United States that occur on a public roadway and involve a fatality.

Proximity to Highways

These data were created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and road network data from NAVTEQ, a commercial company that provides GIS data.


The types of transportation to work data were developed from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). ACS collects data on demographic characteristics, family and relationships, income, health insurance, education, veteran status, where people work and how they get there, and homeowner status. This information is similar to the Census. But it is collected every year rather than every 10 years.

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