APA Announces Policy Recommendations for Creating Healthy, Active Places

Planners and policy makers now have access to a new set of policy recommendations aimed at creating and maintaining healthy communities.

APA's Healthy Communities Policy Guide identifies policy recommendations for local, state, and federally elected officials with the goal of improving community health and quality of living through planning. The guide was approved by an APA Delegate Assembly and ratified by the APA Board late last year.

The Healthy Communities Policy Guide represents a departure from previous guides in its suite of tools designed to help practitioners share our six policy recommendations with policy makers at all levels of government. Tools complementing the guide include a summary, video, APA research products, and case studies. These and other resources will be key components to future APA adopted policy guides.

Members were central to the creation of APA's newest guide. The Legislative and Policy Committee and Healthy Communities Collaborative played especially large roles in shaping the content of the guide, and its complementary resources.

Planning, a key contributor to public health outcomes, was increasingly siloed from public health decisions in the 20th century. Today, policy makers and planning and public health practitioners increasingly recognize the value of integrating health considerations early in the planning process. Policy makers and planners nationwide are already making strides incorporating health in their policy work.

Through our CDC-funded Plan4Health and Planners4Health initiatives, planners — in partnership with public health professionals — are changing the ways communities address the key causes of chronic disease.

The guide further demonstrates APA's enduring national commitment to improve health for all through planning.

Share the Healthy Communities Policy Guide and its implementation tools with policy makers representing your community today.

January 11, 2018