Planning and Community Health Center

The Planning and Community Health Center advances practices that improve human environments to promote public health through active living, healthy eating, and health in all planning policies.

How a community is designed has a direct effect on the health of its citizens. Land development patterns, zoning ordinances, and land use classifications impact walkability, access to services, and transportation options. With an understanding of how the built environment affects public health, it is possible to create vibrant, active spaces and places.

APA's Planning and Community Health Center is dedicated to understanding how the built environment affects public health. Through applied research, partnerships, and education, this center supports the integration of health into planning practice at all levels.

To learn how APA's Planning and Community Health Center can help you or to discuss partnership opportunities, contact us at healthycommunities@planning.org.

News

Essential Info Packet: Planning and Zoning for Health in the Built Environment

This new resource offers how-to guidance on integrating health into policies and regulations that help shape the built environment and is available to all planners and the general public thanks to support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Impact Assessment's Role in Planning

APA's Planning and Community Health Center led a project to further the education, training, and development of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) as an integral part of planning practice.

Featured Resources

Share Your Planning and Health Successes

We want to spread the word about APA members' initiatives to incorporate planning and public health. Your stories will celebrate successes, inspire creativity, and serve as roadmaps for other planners and public health professionals as they develop their own programs to advance healthy communities. If you have a project to share, please let us know!

APA Books

Food equity. Active communities. Environmental justice. Public health and planning have so many issues in common. Check out these titles from APA Books on topics that touch us all.

Current Projects

Plan4Health

Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings together members of the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Public Health Association (APHA), this project is building local capacity to address population health goals and promote the inclusion of health in non-traditional sectors. Coalitions made up of APA chapters, APHA affiliate groups, and others are working to set a new paradigm for healthy planning. By leveraging complementary expertise and influence, this project seeks to expand innovative tactics to addressing tough problems.

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Health Impact Assessment's Role in Planning

APA's Planning and Community Health Center is embarking on a project to further the education, training, and development of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) as an integral part of planning practice.

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Capacity Building for Planners to Address Health

This five-year effort will develop technical tools, educational resources, and professional development guidance that enhances opportunities to pursue health-oriented planning.

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Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse (BEPHC) is a resource for training and relevant news about the intersection of health and place. APA, the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), were a part of the 2014 relaunch as the clearinghouse, which now offers both academic and professional training resources that address the link between public health with planning, architecture, health impact assessment and transportation engineering, among others.

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Growing Food Connections

In partnership with the University of Buffalo, this project targets urban and rural communities across the US that are significantly underserved by the nation's food system. With APA's support, the project is developing research-supported policy tools and trainings to help local governments reconnect vulnerable consumers living in food deserts with local farmers.

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Planning Tools for Health

In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Planning and Community Health Center is creating a set of guidelines to incorporate health into the Conceptual Review process for development projects. The PCH Center is examining best practices that directly or indirectly address community health improvement for new and re-development.

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All projects