Planning & Zoning for Health in the Built Environment

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Do you know of a plan, policy, or code in your municipality that supports health? Please send it to healthycommunities@planning.org. Be sure to include a link.

Planning in the United States originated with a public health purpose. Rapid urbanization resulted in overcrowded and poorly constructed housing, noxious industrial and manufacturing uses, and increased levels of human and animal waste. The planning and public health professions were joined by a shared focus on urban reform and a common goal to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease. Throughout the course of the 20th century and into the 21st, however, planning diverged from its common roots with public health. Planners focused on managing land use, physical development, and supporting infrastructure, while public health professionals took the lead on addressing individual health and safety concerns. These diverging missions have led to a siloed approach to influence the social and environmental determinants that significantly impact individual and population health.

Health outcomes are shaped by more than individual behaviors and clinical care; the major contributing risk factors to disease within an individual’s control are influenced by factors such as the infrastructure and environments that exist within workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and communities. Decisions that leaders make regarding land use, urban design, and transportation impact local air quality, water quality and supply, traffic safety, physical activity, and other exposures. These decisions are linked to some of the nation's most intractable public health problems, including adult and childhood obesity, cancer, respiratory problems, and environmental justice. Addressing these health challenges requires efforts among multiple groups to integrate all components of the public health system and the built environment.

By addressing the determinants of chronic disease — especially inactivity and unhealthy eating — more holistically through planning and policy solutions that improve the built environment, it is possible to reduce illness and promote quality of life for the long term. All planning practice should consider public health impacts and include improved health outcomes for residents as an important measure of success for planning activities.

About the Packet

This Essential Info Packet (EIP) offers planners a collection of resources to help them better understand the connections between health and the built environment and integrate community health considerations into their planning and zoning work. The EIP is an annotated resource list that allows users to click through to the various websites, APA resources, and non-APA documents collected for this packet.

The first part of this EIP (Sections I through VI) offers a collection of background resources and how-to guidance on integrating health issues into the policy and regulatory documents that help shape the built environment. The rest of the packet (Sections VII through XII) offers examples of local policies and ordinances from communities across North America integrating public health into planning and zoning documents and regulations.

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I. Background: The Connections Between Health and the Built Environment

Big-picture planning-focused reports that make the case that the built environment can impact health

II. Clearinghouses and Websites on Planning for Health in the Built Environment

Websites that offer collections of resources on health in the built environment

III. Data Sources for Health in the Built Environment

Sources of data for planners on health in the built environment

IV. Collaborating with Local Public Health Agencies and Officials

Information and guidance on planner–public health official collaboration

V. Health Impact Assessments

Resources focusing on Health Impact Assessments

VI. Toolkits and Model Documents on Planning for Health in the Built Environment

Guidance for planners on general planning for health strategies and implementation

VII. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Comprehensive Plans

Examples of comprehensive plans that directly address health and the built environment

VIII. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Area Plans

Examples of area or neighborhood plans that directly address health and the built environment

IX. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Functional Plans

Examples of functional plans that directly address health and the built environment

X. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Design Guidelines

Examples of design guidelines that directly address health and the built environment

XI. Zoning for Health in the Built Environment: Active Living

Background resources about and examples of zoning ordinances that address active living

XII. Zoning for Health in the Built Environment: Healthy Eating

Background resources about and examples of zoning ordinances that address healthy eating


I. The Connections Between Health and the Built Environment

Braun, Lindsey, and Anna Read. 2015. The Benefits of Street-Scale Features for Biking and Walking. American Planning Association Planning and Community Health Center and Active Living Research. www.planning.org/nationalcenters/health/streetscale/

  • Report examines how different street features, either independently or in combination with one another, promote or discourage physical activity, and analyzes the economic and social co-benefits of these streetscape features.

Sallis, James, and Chad Spoon. 2015. Making the Case for Active Cities: The Co-Benefits of Designing for Active Living. http://activelivingresearch.org/making-case-active-cities-co-benefits-designing-active-living

  • Report and peer-reviewed paper describe findings from an extensive review of the literature to understand the co-benefits of activity-friendly environments on physical health, mental health, social benefits, safety/injury prevention, environmental sustainability and economics.

Sen, Mandu. 2016. State of the Region’s Health. New York: Regional Plan Association. www.rpa.org/publication/state-of-regions-health

  • This assessment describes how the New York metropolitan region’s urban environment influences health.

Urban Land Institute. 2013. Intersections: Health and the Built Environment. Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute. http://uli.org/wp-content/uploads/ULI-Documents/Intersections-Health-and-the-Built-Environment.pdf

  • Report examines how community design, transportation systems, building design, food access, and clean air and water contribute to greater public health.

II. Clearinghouses and Websites on Planning for Health in the Built Environment

Active Living Research. n.d. "Active Living Research for Policymakers." http://activelivingresearch.org/audience/policy-makers

  • Website offers a comprehensive collection of resources on policies that support active living in the areas of schools, communities, transportation, and parks and recreation, including research briefs and summaries, policy and practice impact stories, graphics and charts for use in powerpoint presentations, research papers, and webinars and videos.

Alliance for Biking and Walking. 2016. “The Alliance Benchmarking Report.” http://www.bikewalkalliance.org/resources/benchmarking

  • The benchmarking report, updated biennially, synthesizes data on walking and bicycling in all 50 states, 52 of the largest U.S. cities, and a number of mid-sized cities. The original research analyzes over 20 data sources to present information about bicycling and walking levels, safety, funding, policies, infrastructure, and more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Community Design Initiative. n.d. "Healthy Places." www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/

  • The CDC's Healthy Community Design Initiative promotes ways of planning and designing communities to help people make healthy lifestyle choices. The webpage provides links to a comprehensive collection of resources in three key focus areas – health impact assessment, physical activity, and transportation – as well as myriad additional areas.

Georgia Tech. n.d. "Built Environment and Public House Clearinghouse." www.bephc.gatech.edu/

  • Comprehensive database that provides links to resources on the intersection of public health and the built environment. Includes academic training materials on integrating public health considerations into architecture, planning, and transportation engineering, as well as links to data sources and assessment tools.

Leadership for Healthy Communities. n.d. www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org

  • This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project ended in February 2015, but the website offers a collection of fact sheets and policy briefs produced by the project on the topics of childhood obesity, active living, healthy eating, schools, food and beverage marketing, and health equity.

III. Data Sources for Health in the Built Environment

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Community Design Initiative. n.d. "Data and Benchmarks." www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/cha/data.html

  • Extensive list of community health data and indicator sources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Planning Association. 2013. "Creating a Health Profile of Your Neighborhood." www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/toolkit/sources_of_health_data.pdf

  • Handout summarizes resources for locating neighborhood-level health data; offers step-by-step instructions for accessing and searching for data.

Melnick, Dan. 2008, updated 2012. "Finding and Using Health Statistics." National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR). National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine. www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.html

  • This online course describes the range of available health statistics, identifies their sources, and provides guidance in searching for and using them. Includes a glossary and sample exercises.

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce. n.d. "Health Data Tools and Statistics." https://phpartners.org/health_stats.html

  • Clearinghouse site provides links to an extensive range of websites offering different collections of national, state, metropolitan, county, and local health data and maps.

Selden, Catherine. 2004. "Finding Public Health Statistics and Data Sources." National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), National Library of Medicine. http://phpartners.org/pdf/StatsChapterPDF.pdf

  • This detailed how-to guide describes how to find appropriate, valid health data online.

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. n.d. “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.” www.countyhealthrankings.org/

  • The County Health Rankings use indicators of health outcomes, health factors (including elements of the physical environment), and policies and programs to measure the health of each county in the nation, and rank them within states.

IV. Collaborating with Local Public Health Agencies and Other Officials

American Planning Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. 2004. Fact Sheet: Public Health Terms for Planners and Planning Terms for Public Health Professionals. https://planning-org-uploaded-media.s3.amazonaws.com/legacy_resources/research/healthy/pdf/jargonfactsheet.pdf

• Glossary of common public health and planning terms to help overcome language barriers in collaborative efforts.

Centers for Disease Control. 2015. "Working Together: A Training Framework for Public Health and Planning Professionals." www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/training_framework.htm

  • Webpage offers a framework stressing collaboration between health professions and planners in six core areas. Includes links to case studies highlighting successful planner/public health official collaboration.

Dolesh, Richard, and Zarnaaz Bashir. 2016. “Breaking Down Barriers — Parks and Recreation Connecting with Public Health." Parks and Recreation, February. www.parksandrecreation.org/2016/February/Breaking-Down-Barriers-Parks-and-Recreation-Connecting-with-Public-Health/

  • This article shares examples of collaboration between public health professionals and parks and recreation professionals to promote health and well-being.

Merriam, Dee. 2016. “Parks: An Opportunity to Leverage Environmental Health.” Direct from CDC: Environmental Health Services Branch. www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/docs/jeh/2016/jan-feb-parks.pdf

  • This article shares practical ways to initiate cross-sector dialogue, provides key questions to guide the conversation, and includes resources for parks and public health guidance.

V. Health Impact Assessments

American Planning Association, Planning and Community Health Center. 2016. "Health Impact Assessment’s Role in Planning." https://planning.org/nationalcenters/health/planninghia/

  • With support from the Health Impact Project, this project provides background and guidance on integrating HIA into plans and policies that shape the built environment. APA developed a package of three tools: a report about the state of HIA in planning, an issue brief (co-published with the Health Impact Project), and an HIA toolkit for planners.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. n.d. "Health Impact Assessment." www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm

  • CDC's clearinghouse website for HIA. Includes collection of resources on HIA, case studies, and toolkits for park/trail- and transportation-specific HIAs.

Human Impact Partners. 2011. A Health Impact Assessment Toolkit: A Handbook to Conducting HIA. 3rd Edition. Oakland, Calif.: Human Impact Partners. www.humanimpact.org/downloads/hia-toolkit-2011/

UCLA Health Impact Assessment Clearinghouse Learning and Information Center. n.d. www.hiaguide.org/

  • Comprehensive clearinghouse website for HIA. Includes extensive searchable database of completed HIAs, technical assistance and training resources, and legislative updates.

VI. Toolkits and Model Documents on Planning for Health in the Built Environment

American Planning Association Arizona Chapter. 2012. Healthy Community Design Toolkit. Healthy Community Design Collaborative. www.azplanning.org/2012/healthycommunitydesigntoolkit090112.pdf

  • Toolkit offers extensive lists of sample healthy community design policies in checklist form for 17 general plan elements required or recommended for Arizona communities.

Beck, Claire M. 2010. Healthy Communities: the Comprehensive Plan Assessment Tool. Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware. www.ipa.udel.edu/healthyDEtoolkit/docs/CompPlanAssessmentTool.pdf

  • Report offers a Comprehensive Plan Healthy Community Checklist to help communities integrate health into their comprehensive plans. The checklist contains 24 items based on five overarching principles: bike/ped accessibility, complete streets, parks and open spaces, compact mixed use development, and convenient access to healthy food. Includes five case studies of local governments' use of the tool.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Planning Association. 2013. Healthy Community Design Checklist Toolkit. www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/toolkit/default.htm or www.planning.org/nationalcenters/health/communitydesigntoolkit.htm

  • Toolkit includes Healthy Community Design Checklist, Healthy Community Design Power Point Presentation, Creating a Health Profile of Your Neighborhood, and Planning for Health Resources Guide.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Community Design Initiative and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. 2015. The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook: A Tool for Planners, Parks and Recreational Professionals, and Health Practitioners. www.nps.gov/public_health/hp/hphp/resources.htm

  • This quick guide for incorporating health considerations in the development and improvement of a park or trail can help facilitate cross-sector discussions and prepare for HIAs. The tool includes information to help users find data and learn about completed HIAs that included parks, trails, or greenways.

Design for Health. 2007. Planning Information Sheet: Promoting Food Access with Comprehensive Planning and Ordinances. Version 2.0. http://designforhealth.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/BCBS_ISFood_090107.pdf

  • This information sheet discusses opportunities for planners to address food system issues through planning and policy approaches.

Eat Smart Move More and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. 2014, updated 2015. South Carolina Health + Planning Toolkit: A Healthy Eating and Active Living Policy Guide. Prepared by Alta Planning + Design. http://eatsmartmovemoresc.org/pdf/SCHealthyToolkit.pdf

  • Toolkit describes healthy eating and active living trends as well as planning requirements in South Carolina, and provides policy guides for four healthy eating strategy areas and six active living strategy areas.

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. 2014. Healthy Community Design Toolkit: Leveraging Positive Change. Second Edition. www.pvpc.org/projects/healthy-community-design-toolkit-leveraging-positive-change

  • Toolkit makes the connection between community design and health, addressing smart growth development, site plan and special permit review, subdivision regulations, road design, multimodal transportation networks, stormwater management, and healthy buildings. Second edition adds focus on healthy aging.

Stair, Peter, Heather Wooten, and Matt Raimi. 2012. How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans: A Toolkit for Building Healthy, Vibrant Communities. ChangeLab Solutions and Raimi + Associates. www.changelabsolutions.org/sites/default/files/Healthy_General_Plans_Toolkit_Updated_20120517_0.pdf

  • Toolkit addresses assessments for existing community health conditions and how to incorporate health into the general plan. Offers model health language and implementation plans, programs, policies, and standards. Fact sheets offer research on land use and health from both planning and public health perspectives.

Tacoma-Pierce (Washington), County of, Health Department. n.d. "Healthy Community Planning Toolbox: Policy Intervention Tools." www.tpchd.org/environment/planning-healthy-communities/healthy-community-planning-toolbox/policy-intervention-tools/

  • Toolkit resources include list of sample performance measures and policy intervention areas for built environment outcomes, as well as detailed logic models for built environment outcome areas of physical activity, healthy food, safety and injury, placemaking, access to opportunity, and natural environment.

U.S. Surgeon General. n.d. "Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities." www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/#Call to Action

  • Web page includes guidance on promoting walking and resources for cross-sector collaboration, as well as multimedia such as an infographic.

Urban Land Institute. 2015. Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute. http://uli.org/wp-content/uploads/ULI-Documents/Building-Healthy-Places-Toolkit.pdf

  • Toolkit provides 21 recommendations and accompanying evidence-based strategies for a healthy built environment in the areas of physical activity; healthy food and drinking water; and healthy environment and social well-being.

VII. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Comprehensive Plans

Alachua (Florida), County of. 2011 (updated 2013). Comprehensive Plan 2011–2030. Community Health Element. https://growth-management.alachuacounty.us/formsdocs/comp-plan.pdf

  • Community health goal includes improving community livability and opportunities for active living. See p. 411.
  • Objectives and policies include promoting infrastructure and programs that support active living and physical activity as well as local food production and access.

Albany (New York), City of. 2012. Albany 2030. Sustainability Building Blocks: Social; Community Health and Recreation. www.albany2030.org/files/sites/default/files/Albany%202030%20Comprehensive%20Plan.pdf

  • Community health and recreation goal includes increasing access to recreation opportunities and healthy, fresh food. See p. 70.
  • Strategies and actions include connecting neighborhoods to parks and recreational areas; promoting walkable neighborhoods and complete streets; improving access to healthy food options; connecting healthcare facilities through transit; and promoting physical activity through active design guidelines.

Beaverton (Oregon), City of. 2014. Community Health Element. www.beavertonoregon.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9070

  • The city amended its comprehensive plan in 2014 with the addition of a community health element that sets goals to promote five areas: healthy food, physical activity, healthy environment, access to healthcare, and social safety net.
  • Policies include supporting local food systems and reducing barriers to community garden siting, providing open-space networks and accessible, safe mixed use streets to promote physical activity, promoting complete neighborhoods with access to amenities including medical care, and locating medical facilities in underserved areas.

Cincinnati (Ohio), City of. 2012. Plan Cincinnati. Guiding Policy Principles. The Five Initiative Areas: Sustain Goal 1: Become a Healthier Cincinnati. www.cincinnati-oh.gov/buildings/assets/File/final_plan_cincinnati_document_11-21-12.pdf

  • The plan's Policy Principles include developing a culture of health among residents. See p. 181.
  • Strategies supporting goal of a healthier Cincinnati include improving health through encouraging active lifestyles and increasing access to fresh, healthy food.

Fort Worth (Texas), City of. 2011. Comprehensive Plan. Chapter 19, Public Health. http://fortworthtexas.gov/uploadedFiles/Planning_and_Development/Planning_and_Design/Comprehensive_Plan/19PublicHealth.pdf

  • Comprehensive plan chapter on public health specifically discusses the relationship between development patterns and public health, noting that the urban village, mixed use growth center, and TOD development patterns support public health outcomes through promoting active transportation and reduced vehicle emissions.
  • Sets goals and objectives related to development patterns and public health focused on enhancing active multimodal transportation patterns.
  • Sets goals and objectives related to obesity rates, including increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables and farmers markets.

Flint (Michigan), City of. 2013. Imagine Flint: Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint. Chapter 10, Public Safety, Health & Welfare. www.imagineflint.com/Documents.aspx

  • The plan's Public Safety, Health & Welfare goal lists supporting objectives of local food system development and promotion of exercise and active lifestyles.
  • Implementation steps include promoting use of land for community gardens, urban agriculture, and local food businesses; and promoting walkable mixed use neighborhoods, biking and walking infrastructure, and access to open space and recreational opportunities.

Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin), Village of. 2016. 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update — Draft. Health & Public Safety. www.menomonee-falls.org/DocumentCenter/View/7547

  • The city added a Health & Public Safety Element to its comprehensive plan for its 2015 update. The plan discusses a number of health-related community issues, including local health outcomes and risk factors; active living; healthy food access; healthcare services; healthy aging; environmental quality; and sustainable development. See p. 34.
  • Recommendations address the encouragement of year-round physical activity for all ages; creation of healthy environmental conditions, including street tree planting; and establishing a safe and resilient community through emergency preparedness for human-caused and natural disasters.
  • See also Appendix B, Health Advisory Committee, which describes the efforts of the Health Advisory Committee formed to draft goals and recommendations for the plan's new health element.

Montpelier (Vermont), City of. 2015. Master Plan. Social and Human Development; Goal E, Health and Wellness. www.montpelier-vt.org/documentcenter/view/3079

  • The city's Health and Wellness goal includes a number of recommended strategies, including 5 strategies for making it easy to integrate physical activity into daily life and additional strategies for promoting access to fresh foods. See p. 227.

Newark (California), City of. 2013. General Plan. Chapter 10, Health and Wellness. www.newark.org/images/uploads/comdev/pdfs/GeneralPlan/Newark_GeneralPlan122013.pdf

  • The city's health and wellness element identifies residents' health, air quality, fitness and walkability, food access, access to health care facilities, public safety, and mental health as important concerns. See p. HW-1.
  • Goals include "Fitness Through Design," with supporting policies promoting physical activity and health through infrastructure and design; "Food Access," with supporting policies addressing use of land for gardens, farmers markets, and grocery stores; "Access to Health Care," with supporting policies promoting access to healthcare facilities through transit; and "Reducing Hazard Exposure," with supporting policies promoting compatibility of land uses to protect residents' health.

Oak Park (Illinois), Village of. 2014. Envision Oak Park. Chapter 9, Community Health and Safety. www.oak-park.us/sites/default/files/planning-documents/2014-09-15-envision-oak-park-comprehensive-plan-small.pdf

  • The plan's Community Health and Safety chapter sets goals and objectives that include promoting biking and walking safety, monitoring community health through a "community health report card," and encouraging changes to policies and the built environment to increase physical activity and good nutrition. See p. 127.

Richmond (California), City of. 2012. General Plan. Element 11: Community Health and Wellness. www.ci.richmond.ca.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/8579

  • The city's Community Health and Wellness Element was one of the first adopted in the country. It sets a healthy community vision that addresses environmental quality, pedestrian friendliness, access to healthy food choices, and parks and recreation options to support active lifestyles. It lists 10 "healthy living determinants," inventorying current city conditions and summarizing findings and suggestions for improving each one.
  • The element sets 11 Community Health and Wellness goals, including improved access to parks, recreation, and open space; healthy food and nutrition choices; medical services; and active transportation options. The plan also provides an extremely extensive list of action items for each goal, and notes related goals and actions from elsewhere in the plan where relevant.

Rock Island (Illinois), City of. 2014. City of Rock Island Comprehensive Plan: A 20-Year Guide for City Objectives. Healthy Community. http://rigov.org/DocumentCenter/View/6991

  • The city's plan includes a section on Healthy Community, with a vision principle of providing a safe environment, access to healthcare and nutritious food, and opportunities for active living. See p. 109.
  • Healthy Community policies include supporting community-based food projects and local food systems, providing access to recreational activities and regional trails, and promoting environmental justice through equitable distribution of environmental burdens and access to healthy goods and services.
  • Healthy Community strategies include planning for access to healthy, locally grown food, and planning for physically active lifestyles.

San Pablo (California), City of. 2011. San Pablo General Plan 2030. Chapter 8, Health. www.sanpabloca.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/669

  • The city was one of the first to adopt a health-focused comprehensive plan element in the state. It establishes four themes for the element: healthy transportation and physical activity, healthy food access and equity, access to services, and crime reduction. It offers indicators for a healthy community.
  • The plan sets guiding and implementing policies addressing health-enhancing transportation and physical activity options and walkable, pedestrian-oriented environments; reducing barriers and increasing access to healthy foods, including locally grown fruits and vegetables; promoting health equity through provision of health goods and services to all neighborhoods; and using the built environment to deter crime and improve public perceptions of safety throughout the city.

Seattle (Washington), City of. 2015. Draft Seattle Comprehensive Plan. Community Well-Being Element: Healthy Growth, Aging and Lifestyles. www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/p2294952.pdf

  • The city's draft Community Well-Being Element includes a Healthy Growth, Aging and Lifestyles goal. Supporting policies address promoting healthy and active lifestyles; coordinating provision of health services; promoting access to healthy, affordable, and local food; and requiring healthy building methods and materials.

Tucson (Arizona), City of. 2013. PLAN TUCSON: City of Tucson General & Sustainability Plan 2013. Chapter 3, The Social Environment — Public Health. http://oip.tucsonaz.gov/files/integrated-planning/Plan_Tucson_Complete_Doc_11-13-13.pdf

  • The city's plan includes a discussion of public health concerns for residents, and sets 8 policies for public health, including pursuing land use patterns, transportation systems, and open space development that promote physical activity and healthy living; improving access to healthy, affordable food; increasing transportation options to access healthcare; collaborating on emergency service preparedness; and supporting streetscapes and roadways that encourage physical activity. See p. 3.28.
  • The plan also lists dozens of public health-related policies in the rest of the plan, including goals around housing, urban agriculture, water resources, green infrastructure, environmental quality, and land use, transportation, & urban design.

VIII. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Area Plans

Denver (Colorado), City of. 2014. Globeville Neighborhood Plan. www.denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/646/documents/planning/Plans/Globeville_Neighborhood_Plan.pdf

  • Neighborhood planning process incorporated a Health Impact Assessment. Plan includes a Vision for a Healthy Globeville with 6 policy recommendations and associate strategies of improving environmental quality (noise impacts, odor, tree cover, green infrastructure), improving multimodal connectivity (street infrastructure and connectivity, truck impacts, complete streets), increasing access to goods and services (healthy food access, grocery stores), enhancing community safety (street crash reductions, school zone safety, improved street lighting), improving mental health and wellbeing, and all general HIA strategies.

District of Columbia. 2014. Southwest Neighborhood Plan. http://planning.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/op/publication/attachments/SW%20Draft%20Report_112014%20final%20draf%20litet.pdf

  • This small area plan envisions Southwest DC as a thriving and active community, with goals that explicitly prioritize health (promote healthy living and food access for the entire community). The eleven guiding principles align with health promotion, and include pedestrian safety, parks, community amenities, and sustainability.

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. 2012. The Village at Market Creek and Brownfields Areawide Action Plan. San Diego, Calif.: JCNI. www.jacobscenter.org/_pdf/BF_AWP.pdf

  • This brownfields area-wide plan outlines a plan to transform 52 unused, untended, and underutilized acres into “The Village at Market Creek”, a vibrant community center and cultural destination in San Diego. The planning process engaged community members in novel ways, and included workshops focused on health impacts, environmental mitigation, and economic redevelopment. Design elements in the plan included health, in addition to land use, urban design, and mobility.

San Francisco (California), City-County of. 2008. Mission Area Plan. http://sf-planning.org/sites/default/files/FileCenter/Documents/2321-Mission_Area_Plan_DEC_08_FINAL_ADOPTED.pdf

  • Area plan addresses health through a number of objectives: minimizing noise impacts (1.5); improving indoor air quality (1.6); promoting health through residential design and location (2.5); promoting walkable urban form (3.2); promoting walking as a key transportation mode (4.4); improving bicycle infrastructure (4.7); supporting human service providers (7.2).

Tulsa (Oklahoma), City of. 2013. Utica Mid-town Corridor North Sub-Area Small Area Plan. www.cityoftulsa.org/media/359206/Utica_Midtown_Corridor_SAP_small.pdf

  • This plan focuses on a sub-area of the Utica Midtown Corridor Small Area Plan and plans for attractive neighborhoods, high quality housing, pedestrian environment, and connections to area parks and amenities that support an active urban lifestyle.

IX. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Functional Plans

Austin-Travis (Texas), City and County of. 2013. Community Health Improvement Plan. www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Health/Info_to_Post/CHA-CHIP_Report_9-3-13.pdf

  • Two of this community health improvement plan's priority areas are built environment–focused: access to healthy foods and transportation.

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. 2011. Eating Here: Greater Philadelphia’s Food System Plan. www.dvrpc.org/reports/10063.pdf

  • The plan identifies six core values for the region’s food system, including health. The plan uses data, including health, agricultural, and economic data to describe the state of the food system and the base for recommendations for improvements.

Louisville (Kentucky), City of. 2013. Louisville Loop Master Plan: Connecting People to a Greener, Healthier Community. https://louisvilleky.gov/sites/default/files/parks/planning_and_design/loopmasterplan_draft_041813sm_0.pdf

  • The Louisville Loop connected trail system is designed to support five goals, of which encouraging health and wellness is one. The Master Plan is complemented by a design guidelines manual, a wayfinding manual, and a complete streets policy.

Miami-Dade (Florida), County of. 2007. The Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space System Master Plan. www.miamidade.gov/parksmasterplan/home.asp

  • This park, open space, and trails plan includes a vision that the parks support healthy, active lifestyles. Health is embedded and mentioned throughout the plan. The plan also includes background information about the health benefits of parks and open space.

X. Planning for Health in the Built Environment: Design Guidelines

Los Angeles (California), County of, Department of Regional Planning. n.d. "Healthy Design Guidelines." http://planning.lacounty.gov/assets/upl/data/ord_healthy-design_guidelines.pdf

  • Healthy design standards seek to improve public health through changes in the built environment: to create safe, convenient, and pleasant places for pedestrians and bicyclists by minimizing hazards, increasing accessibility, and enhancing the look and feel of the built environment.

New York City (New York), City of, Center for Active Design. 2010. Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design. http://centerforactivedesign.org/dl/guidelines.pdf

  • This seminal document provides guidelines that promote active, healthy living in urban design (land use mix, transit and parking, parks/open space/recreational facilities, children's play areas, public plazas, grocery stores/fresh produce access, street connectivity, traffic calming, pedestrian pathways, streetscape programming, and bicycle networks/infrastructure) and building design (stairway use, and building programming, facilities, and exteriors/massing that support physical activity).

Peel (Ontario), Region of. 2014. Affordable Housing Active Design Guidelines and Standards. www.peelregion.ca/health/resources/healthbydesign/pdf/CDI-0560.pdf

  • Provides a set of elements for consideration during the procurement, design, and rehabilitation or retrofit phases of affordable housing development that promote an active lifestyle among residents.

Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto Planning, City of Toronto Transportation Services and Gladki Planning Associates. 2014. Active City: Designing for Health. www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-69334.pdf

  • Report identifies and describes ten "Active City" design principles that address proximity, connectivity, design quality, and equity.

XI. Zoning for Health in the Built Environment: Active Living


American Planning Association, Planning and Community Health Center. 2015. Health in the Development Review Process. Washington, D.C.: American Planning Association. https://planning-org-uploaded-media.s3.amazonaws.com/legacy_resources/nationalcenters/health/toolsforhealth/pdf/devreviewguidelines.pdf

  • Guide discusses how local development codes can incorporate healthy community considerations into regulatory language. Identifies the principles of a healthy built environment and applicable code provisions for implementation; offers a health-focused development review checklist.

Chriqui, Jamie, Julien Leider, Emily Thrun, Lisa Nicholson, and Sandy Slater. 2016. "Communities on the Move: Pedestrian-Oriented Zoning as a Facilitator of Adult Active Travel to Work in the United States. Frontiers in Public Health 4(71). http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00071/full

  • This academic research reveals correlations between pedestrian-oriented zoning and active travel behaviors, based on data collected from over 500 municipalities and counties in the U.S.

Chriqui, Jamie, Lisa Nicholson, Emily Thrun, Julien Leider, and Sandy Slater. 2016. "More Active Living–Oriented County and Municipal Zoning is Associated with Increased Adult Leisure Time Physical Activity—United States, 2011." Environment and Behavior 48(1): 111–130. http://eab.sagepub.com/content/48/1/111.abstract

  • This academic review of 1,617 local zoning codes identifies zoning reforms most associated with increasing adult physical activity: requirements for mixed use, active and passive recreation, bike parking/street furniture, and bike-pedestrian trails/paths.

Los Angeles (California), City of, and Gensler. 2013. Designing a Healthy LA. www.urbandesignla.com/resources/docs/DesigningAHealthyLA/hi/DesigningAHealthyLA.pdf

  • This guidebook, intended for those who plan, design, and build the city's buildings, streets, neighborhoods, and open spaces, offers a broad range of guidelines for integrating health into the physical environment.

Smart Growth America, National Complete Streets Coalition. 2016. The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015. www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/best-cs-policies-of-2015.pdf

  • Report designates 16 best Complete Streets policies of 2015. Describes scoring methodology; appendix includes complete list of Complete Streets policies in the U.S.

Sample Regulations: Pedestrian-Oriented Design

Anchorage (Alaska), City of. 2016. Code of Ordinances. Title 21, Land Use Planning; Chapter 21.07, Development and Design Standards; Section 21.07.060, Transportation and Connectivity; part E, Standards for Pedestrian Facilities. www.municode.com/library/ak/anchorage/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT21LAUSPLNECOFFJA12014_CH21.07DEDESTNECOFFJA12014_21.07.060TRCO

  • Standards for pedestrian facilities address sidewalks, through-block connections, on-site pedestrian walkways, trails, and infrastructure use and maintenance.
  • Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide convenient, safe, and regular pedestrian facilities along streets and within and between developments. Such facilities create a healthful built environment in which individuals have opportunities to incorporate physical activity, such as walking or bicycling, into their daily routine. Injuries and fatalities are reduced when interactions between pedestrians and vehicles are minimized. Adequate pedestrian facilities meet community goals for mobility and access, as well as for providing transportation choices. Safe pedestrian access for students to their schools is also an essential purpose of these standards.

Lenexa (Kansas), City of. 2015. Unified Development Code. Chapter 4-1 Zoning; Article 4-1-C, General Development Standards; Section 4-1-C-7 Pedestrian Oriented Design Standards. http://online.encodeplus.com/regs/lenexa-ks/doc-viewer.aspx#secid-47

  • Code addresses sidewalks within development sites and provision of pedestrian-scale public space.
  • Purpose: The intent of these standards is to enhance the pedestrian experience and encourage more people to consider walking for short trips. These standards are specifically intended to: 1) provide for pedestrian connections between private buildings, and to the public sidewalk and trail system, and 2) provide for pedestrian-scale public spaces and amenities at the entrance to buildings.

Los Angeles (California), County of. 2013. Ordinance No. 2013-0001: Healthy Design Ordinance. http://planning.lacounty.gov/hdo

  • Ordinance integrates active living– and healthy eating–related provisions throughout the county's subdivision and zoning codes. Website offers links to documentation of the ordinance development process.
  • An ordinance amending Title 21 – Subdivisions and Title 22 – Zoning of the Los Angeles County Code to establish certain uses, permit requirements, and development standards that encourage a healthy lifestyle in the county by promoting walking, bicycling, and other exercise, and by creating better access to healthy foods.

XI. Zoning for Healthy Eating


Bridging the Gap. 2012. "Zoning for Healthy Food Access Varies by Community Income." BTG Research Brief, April. www.bridgingthegapresearch.org/_asset/n5qtpc/btg_food_zoning_final-0612.pdf

  • This research brief examines the degree to which zoning ordinances allow different types of food outlets in communities, and whether those zoning provisions vary based on community income. Lower-income communities were less likely to specify allowing farmers’ markets or community gardens than were higher-income communities.

ChangeLab Solutions. 2009. Model Healthy Food Zone Ordinance. Oakland, Calif.: ChangeLab Solutions. www.changelabsolutions.org/publications/model-ord-healthy-food-zone

  • This publication includes background information and model language for restricting fast-food restaurants near schools.

ChangeLab Solutions. 2010/2013. Model Produce Cart Ordinance: Increasing Access to Fresh Produce by Creating a Permit Program for Sidewalk Produce Vendors. Oakland, Calif: ChangeLab Solutions. www.changelabsolutions.org/publications/model-ordinance-produce-carts

  • This publication offers a model streamlined permit process to promote fruit and vegetable sales from mobile produce carts within underserved neighborhoods.

Changelab Solutions. 2016. “Pedestrian Friendly Code Directory.” www.changelabsolutions.org/childhood-obesity/pedestrian-friendly-code

  • This online directory provides specific examples of the elements in zoning and subdivision codes that can help create pedestrian-friendly and healthy neighborhoods. Each element includes a description about why it is important and code examples.

Fuchs, Ester, Sarah Holloway, Kimberly Bayer, and Alexandra Feathers. 2014. Innovative Partnership for Public Health: An Evaluation of the New York City Green Cart Initiative to Expand Access to Healthy Produce in Low-Income Neighborhoods. https://sipa.columbia.edu/system/files/GreenCarts_Final_June16.pdf

  • Report evaluates New York City's Green Cart initiative offering 1,000 permits for a new class of mobile fruit and vegetable vendors in underserved areas of the city and concludes that this is a successful model for increasing access to healthy food in high-density underserved low-income neighborhoods that should be replicated in urban areas across the country.

Milwaukee (Wisconsin), City of. 2012. Urban Agriculture Code Audit. EJ Showcase Pilot Project, U.S. EPA Region 5. http://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cityDCD/Urban-Agriculture/pdfs/MilwaukeeCodeAudit_acknowledge.pdf

  • Audit reviewed the city's Building and Zoning Code to identify potential barriers to urban agriculture; provides recommendations for amendments to further support urban agriculture within the city and a best practice review of ordinances from other cities and states.

Ringstrom, Eva, and Branden Born. 2011. Food Access Policy and Planning Guide.www.nyc.gov/html/ddc/downloads/pdf/ActiveDesignWebinar/King%20County%20Food%20Access%20Guide.pdf?epi-content=GENERIC

  • Designed for municipalities in King County, Washington, this guide provides relevant, practical strategies for practitioners and policymakers to address inadequate access to healthy food.

Spacht, Allyson. 2009. "The Zoning Diet: Using Restrictive Zoning to Shrink American Waistlines." Notre Dame Law Review 85(1): 391–418. www3.nd.edu/~ndlrev/archive_public/85ndlr1/Spacht.pdf

  • Law journal article argues that restrictive zoning of fast food restaurants to combat obesity as a matter of public health is a valid exercise of zoning authority.

Wooten, Heather, and Amy Ackerman. 2011. Seeding the City: Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture. Oakland, Calif.: ChangeLab Solutions. www.changelabsolutions.org/sites/default/files/Urban_Ag_SeedingTheCity_FINAL_(CLS_20120530)_20111021_0.pdf

  • Report offers a framework for developing urban agricultural land use policy, explores a wide range of laws and regulations that affect urban agriculture, and provides model comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance language for urban agriculture.

Wooten, Heather, and Amy Ackerman. 2013. From the Ground Up: Land Use Policies to Protect and Promote Farmers’ Markets. Oakland, Calif.: ChangeLab Solutions. www.changelabsolutions.org/sites/default/files/From_the_Ground_Up-Farmers_Markets_FINAL_20130415.pdf

  • Report provides an overview of farmers' market policy issues and offers model comprehensive plan policies and zoning language to establish farmers' markets as an approved use.

Sample Regulations: Farmers’ Markets

Minneapolis (Minnesota), City of. 2011. Public Markets Ordinance No. 2011-Or-095. www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@council/documents/webcontent/wcms1p-081595.pdf

  • The City’s Ordinance includes definitions, market requirements, and license applications and fees requirements, and insurance requirements.

San Jose (California), City of. 2012. An Ordinance of the City of San Jose Amending Title 20 (The Zoning Code) of the San Jose Municipal Code by Amending Section 20.30.100 of Chapter 20.30, Section 20.40.T00 of Chapter 20.40, Section 20.50.100 of Chapter 20.50, and Section 20.70.100 of Chapter 20.70, Adding a New Part 3.5 Entitled "Certified Farmers’ Markets" to Chapter 20.80, and Adding a New Section 20.200.185 To Chapter 20.200 and Amending Section 20.200.410 of Said Chapter 20.200, all to Establish Land Use Regulations for Certified Farmers’ Markets, to Facilitate a More Streamlined Process for Certain Certified Farmers’ Markets, and to Make Other Technical, Nonsubstantive, Clarifying Changes to Said Title 20. www3.sanjoseca.gov/clerk/Agenda/20120814/20120814_0403.pdf

  • Zoning ordinance amendment streamlines permitting requirements for farmers markets within the city to support General Plan goals of increased access to healthy food.

Sample Regulations: Healthy Food Stores

New York (New York), City of. 2016. Zoning Resolution. Article IV, Special Regulations Applicable to Certain Areas; Chapter 3, Special Regulations Applying to FRESH Food Stores. www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/zoning/zoning-text/art06c03.pdf?r=032216

  • Code defines "FRESH food store" and offers bonus density and parking reductions for development of fresh food markets in underserved areas.

Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), City of. 2016. Code of Ordinances. Title 14, Zoning and Planning; Chapter 14-600, Use Regulations; Section 14-601, Use Categories; part 6, Retail Sales Use Category; part d, Food Beverage, and Groceries; part (.1), Fresh Food Market. Section 14-603, Use-Specific Standards; Part (7), Fresh Food Market. http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title14zoningandplanning/chapter14-600useregulations?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0

  • Code defines "fresh food market" and offers bonus density, additional height allowances, and parking reductions to incentivize their development.

Sample Regulations: Fast-Food Outlet Controls

Arcata (California), City of. 2002. Ordinance No. 1333: An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Arcata Amending the Arcata Municipal Code, Title IX, the Land Use and Development Guide, to Define Restaurants and Formula Restaurants and to Limit the Current Number of Formula Restaurants in the Commercial and Industrial Zone Districts of the City to Nine (9) Establishments.http://eatbettermovemore.org/sa/policies/pdftext/Humboldt%20Arcata%20Formula%20Restaurant%20Ban.pdf

  • Ordinance defines formula restaurant, caps the number of these establishments allowed within the city at nine, and prohibits them within certain business districts.
  • One goal of the ordinance was to foster local involvement in food establishments that meet local needs; see analysis from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at https://ilsr.org/rule/formula-business-restrictions/2306-2/

Arden Hills (Minnesota), City of. 2016. Code of Ordinances. Chapter 13, Zoning; Section 1325, General Regulations; Section 1325.04, Additional Minimum Requirements for Drive-In Businesses, Drive-up Windows, Fast Food Restaurants and Automobile Service Stations; Subdivision 1, Location. http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Minnesota/ardenhills_mn/ardenhillsmncodeofordinances/chapter13-zoningcode?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0

  • Code prohibits fast-food restaurants, drive-through businesses, and automobile service stations from locating within 400 feet of schools, churches, public recreation areas, or residential properties, and requires at least 1,320 feet between such businesses.

Davis (California), City of. 2016. Municipal Code. Chapter 40, Zoning; Article 40.14, Central Commercial (C-C) District; Section 40.14.050, Conditional Uses; part h, Formula Fast Food. http://qcode.us/codes/davis/view.php?topic=40-40_14-40_14_050&frames=off

  • Code designates formula fast food restaurants as conditional uses in the Central Commercial district, notes that the planning commission or city council may consider a number of factors (litter, odor, signage, design, concentration of like uses) in determining whether the use constitutes a nuisance or is detrimental to public welfare.

Sample Regulations: Fresh Food Mobile Vendors

Fort Worth (Texas), City of. 2016. Ordinance 22154-04-2016: An Ordinance Amending the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Fort Worth ... by Amending Article 4 "Temporary Uses" of Chapter 5, "Supplemental Use Standards," Section 5.406 "Mobile Vendors" to Provide Operational Requirements for Fresh Market Mobile Vendors. http://publicdocuments.fortworthtexas.gov/CSODOCS/docview.aspx?id=119738&dbid=0&cr=1

  • Ordinance defines "fresh market mobile vendors" and permits them by right subject to standards in residential and nonresidential districts, including on the premises of nonresidential uses such as churches or schools.

San Jose (California), City of. 2016. Code of Ordinances. Title 20, Zoning; Chapter 20.80, Specific Use Regulations; Part 10, Outdoor Vending Facilities; Section 20.80.820, Exception — Administrative Permit; part B. www.municode.com/library/ca/san_jose/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT20ZO_CH20.80SPUSRE_PT10OUVEFA_20.80.820EXDMPE

  • The city's zoning ordinance exempts fresh fruit and vegetable vendors from mobile vending administrative permit requirements if they comply with basic location and operational requirements.
  • See also Planning Commission Memorandum from November 20, 2015, on amendments to this ordinance expanding locations and time frames for fresh fruit and vegetable vending, at www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/48036.

Sample Regulations: Urban Agriculture

Cleveland (Ohio), City of. n.d. "Cleveland's Zoning for Urban Agriculture & Green Space." http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/zoning/pdf/AgricultureOpenSpaceSummary.pdf

  • Handout summarizes Cleveland's several ordinances allowing community gardens, urban agriculture, and chicken- and bee-keeping within the city, including residential districts.

Fort Lauderdale (Florida), City of. n.d. "Green Your Routine: Urban Farming and Community Gardens." http://gyr.fortlauderdale.gov/greener-government/responsible-development-land-use/green-space-expansion/urban-farming-and-community-gardens

  • City webpage offers links to the city's 2012 urban agriculture ordinance and promotes the city's goal of having community gardens in every neighborhood.

Minneapolis (Minnesota), City of. n.d. "Homegrown Minneapolis: Zoning and Urban Agriculture." www.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability/homegrown/WCMS1P-140395

  • City webpage summarizes and links to the city's zoning regulations for community gardens, market gardens, and urban farms.

Sacramento (California), City of. n.d. "Urban Agriculture Regulations." www.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Planning/Long-Range/Urban-Agriculture/Urban%20Agriculture%20Regulations

  • City webpage describes and links to 2015 ordinance amendments intended to reduce the regulatory burden for urban agriculture; addresses market gardens, community gardens, farmstands, and aquaculture operations.

Wheat Ridge (Colorado), City of. n.d. "Urban Agriculture." www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/985/Urban-Agriculture

  • City webpage describes and links to ordinances supporting urban agriculture within the city; addresses urban gardens, farmers' markets, and produce stands.

This Essential Info Packet was supported through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Copyright © 2016. American Planning Association, 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60601-5927; 1030 15th St., NW, Suite 750 West, Washington, DC 20005-1503; www.planning.org/pas; ISBN: 978-1-61190-189-4.