Quenching Community Thirst: Planning for More Access to Drinking Water in Public Places

By Nicholas Kushner, AICP



National policy and action toolkits have begun drawing attention to drinking water access. The White House initiative Let's Move, in its "Action Steps Toolkit for Mayors and Local Officials", states that these officials should "require access to free and safe drinking water in public places".

The Institute of Medicine's Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity also lists the following advice:

"Strategy 7…Increase access to free, safe drinking water in public places to encourage consumption of water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages…Adopt building codes to require access to, and maintenance of, fresh drinking water fountains (e.g., public restroom codes)" (Parker et al. 2009).


Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2013
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Nicholas Kushner, AICP
Nick Kushner, AICP, is a Community Planner with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Project Manager for DPR’s 20-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Ready2Play. Prior to coming to DPR, Nick worked with the DC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services on Age-Friendly-DC, a citywide plan to make DC accommodating for all-ages. Nick was also a Capital City Fellow with the DC Department of Energy and Environment, where he worked on the city’s long-range sustainability plan, Sustainable DC. Nick has also worked on the development of the District's Comprehensive Plan and Resilience Strategy as well as numerous neighborhood planning efforts. Prior to joining DC Government, Nick interned with APA’s Planning and Community Health division where he co-authored the report, Healthy Plan Making. Nick has presented at numerous national and international conferences in the fields of planning, public health, aging, and resilience. Nick has a BA from the University of Minnesota and a Dual Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Public and International Affairs from Virginia Tech.