Voices of East Tennessee: Vacant lot becomes a pocket park

Monday, April 4, 2016

The zip code-health connection

TruckBeat is reporting on how the built environment –– factors such as whether a neighborhood has sidewalks, transportation options, safe parks and easy access to affordable and nutritious food ––  can impact your health and well-being. Research has shown zip code can often be a better predictor of health and life expectancy than genetic code.

One Knoxville community is tackling this zip code curse with a new, grassroots effort designed to transform the neighborhood around South Knoxville Elementary, and make it easier and safer for community residents and students to exercise outdoors. The area, located just south of downtown Knoxville, is high-poverty, and has been identified as a "food desert," with a lack of fresh, healthy and affordable food options.

South Knoxville Elementary's Susan Martin explains what the project is all about and why it's needed now: 


Stay tuned for more stories! 

TruckBeat will be following South Knoxville Elementary's progress to improve community health and access to safe play space this spring.

Jess Mador

Jess Mador is the creator of TruckBeat for WUOT. She's an award-winning public radio and multimedia journalist who has produced stories for news organizations around the country, including Minnesota Public Radio, NPR News and PBS member stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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