Planning for Healthy Rural-Urban Communities

You'll learn about:

  • Planners from rural, suburban and urban communities will learn about strategies they can use to implement healthy living options, including techniques to make communities more walkable, bikeable and more playable, and increase access to healthy foods.

  • Planners will take away transferable coalition-building skills that will enhance any community engagement project including those focusing on healthy living.  

  • Planners will learn how a “Healthy Quick Audit” can be used to gain a quick assessment of a community’s strengths and weakness in relation to healthy living options and generate a  discussion of how to implement “low hanging fruit” as well as longer term projects.


Awareness of the import role communities can play in promoting healthy options for all residents has increased but implementing strategies can be challenging.  An initiative of the American Planning Association’s Planning and Community Health Center, Plan4Health connects communities across the country, funding wokr at the intersection of planning and public health. 

This Deep Dive session will examine and learn from cross-sector coalitions in urban-suburban Kingston NY and Trenton NJ, along with rural Eastern CT in order to parse how context shapes holistic, sustainable approaches to the implementation of policy, systems, and environment changes.  While the presentations will highlight the intersection of planning and public health, participants will take away transferable coalition-building skills that will enhance any community engagement project.  The session will involve smaller group discussion and interactive activities including an audit which evaluates a community’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of promoting healthy options.

The session will be structured to include three mini presentations each with an activity designed to engage participants and leave them with new tools or models to take back to their communities.  We will end the program with a half hour group discussion of transferability and other questions that arise throughout the process.