Active Living Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Active Living Minnesota (ALM) program funded eight organizations across the state. Working in partnership with others, each community implemented comprehensive ways to support active living in their counties, cities, towns, and neighborhoods through environmental and policy changes, with an emphasis on changing the built environment.


  • County and municipal officials and other partners internalized the value of active lifestyles for their communities.
  • Partners changed the way they did their daily work, and they championed the development of active living projects and programming in multiple settings.
  • ALM communities accomplished more than 36 infrastructure changes (including bike racks, street crossings, and signage), passed more than 23 policies (complete streets, school transportation, snow removal), and passed more than 31 resolutions (greenway master plans, long-range transportation plans, and area land use plans).

Funding Partner: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Minnesota

Engagement: 2008–2013

Services Provided:

  • Strategic planning assistance
  • Sustainability training
  • Capacity-building around active living expertise and coaching
“We have learned so much from Active Living By Design [now Healthy Places by Design] over the years. Their grounding in theory and research, fortified by their own practical insights and thought leadership about changing places to support health, is certainly an asset. Perhaps more important, they helped us develop a philosophy and practice of working with communities. Make it fun. Walk the talk. Listen in earnest. These are essential, intangible elements of our funding practice that we owe to them.”

Jill Naylor Chamberlain, Senior Project officer
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota