Planning and Community Health Center

Current Projects

Through applied research, place-based support, and outreach to a national membership network, the Planning and Community Health Center conducts projects focused on enhancing active living, strengthening the food system, and promoting health in all policies.


Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings APA members together with members of the American Public Health Association (APHA), Plan4Health builds local capacity to address health goals using planning strategies. Coalitions made up of APA chapters, APHA affiliate groups, and others are working to set a new paradigm for healthy planning and address tough problems by leveraging complementary expertise and influence.


Based on the successes and lessons learned from Plan4Health, the Planning and Community Health Center has established a new initiative to build the capacity of APA chapters to make health a chapter priority.

Capacity Building for Planners to Address Health

This project will develop technical tools, educational resources, and professional development guidance that enhance opportunities to pursue health-oriented planning.

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.

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, along with other national partners, participated in building the resource library. The clearinghouse now offers both academic and professional training resources that address the links among public health and planning, architecture, transportation and engineering, as well as health impact assessment.

Planning Tools for Health

In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this two-year study produced a set of easy-to-use tools for integrating health into plan implementation. With a focus on creating guidelines for site plan review and safe routes to parks, the Planning and Community Health Center examined best practices that directly (or indirectly) address community health improvement.

Growing Food Connections

In partnership with the University at Buffalo and USDA, Growing Food Connections targets urban and rural communities across the U.S. that are significantly underserved by the nation's food system. The project has developed new policy tools and trainings to help local governments reconnect vulnerable consumers living in food deserts with local farmers.

Completed Projects

Benefits of Street Scale Features for Walking and Biking

Planning for Public Health

Healthy Communities through Collaboration

Planning for Food Access

Arts, Culture & Creativity

Urban Agriculture

Complete Streets