Collage of gathering environments such as a male gay couple cooking in their kitchen indoors, a couple walking outside on a trail, a community meeting, a playground, etc.

Where we Gather

When we leave home each day, we cross paths and gather with others in dozens of public and private places, from city parks to corner stores; from senior centers to sports stadiums; from houses of worship to movie theaters.

Hidden in plain view

In the places where we gather, it’s not easy to spot all the factors that affect our health.
For example, 20 percent of Oregon stores that sell tobacco display it near the candy or
toys that kids are looking for. And tobacco companies pay good money to place their
products there. Once revealed, these harmful forces can seem inevitable and
irreversible. But communities don’t just “end up” the way they are. Some gathering
places and public spaces promote health. Others create barriers to healthy lives. Each
one is the result of decisions we make as a society.

Explore the issues

  • Roads, streetlights, trees and other physical features of our communities shape Oregonians’ health every day. They can make it easier to live a healthy life or stand in our way.

    Built for health?
    Street full of fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, Arby's and Burger King
  • How do stores and what they sell affect the health of kids and adults in your community? Take a closer look at the power of the retail environment to influence what Oregonians put in their bodies—and why it matters.

    Health hazards at the store
    Young male kid grabbing Cheetos from large shelf of junk food products, smiling at mom while he holds her hand