Toolkit to Integrate Health and Equity Into Comprehensive Plans

By Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP, Brittany Wong



This toolkit will help planners integrate health and equity in their comprehensive plan and plan-making processes. The toolkit builds on APA’s Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places initiative, which established a framework for addressing sustainability through comprehensive plans. Among the 10 components of this framework, the toolkit focuses on Interwoven Equity, Healthy Communities, and Authentic Participation components.

The toolkit contains model language about goals, policies, and action items from the 15 existing comprehensive plans that have focused on health and equity.


Page Count
Date Published
June 17, 2020
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Sagar Shah, PhD, AICP
Sagar Shah serves as the Manager of Research and Strategic Initiatives at the American Planning Association (APA), leveraging over 15 years of rich experience in community planning. With a focus on the nexus of planning and health, his research delves into effectively integrating health and equity considerations into planning practices. Within APA, Sagar spearheads the 'upskill planners' initiative, dedicated to empowering planners with new skills to thrive in evolving environments. He also plays a pivotal role as a core member of APA’s Foresight Team, actively studying influential external factors - such as AI - that significantly impact planners' roles. Sagar earned his Ph.D. in Regional Development Planning from the University of Cincinnati and holds a Master’s degree in Planning from the University of Southern California. He is a certified planner accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Brittany Wong

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

The Toolkit
How to Use This Toolkit

Model Language to Align with Comprehensive Plan Standards
Interwoven Equity
Healthy Community
Authentic Participation



Appendix A
Plan Selection
Plan Analysis
Data Analysis

Appendix B
Links to Plan Documents and Updates and Health Impact Assessments (HIAs)