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
Dr. Sagar Shah, AICP, is the Planning and Community Health Manager at the American Planning Association in Washington DC. In this role, he creates tools, training, and educational materials to help local planning practitioners integrate health and equity into their planning practice. In his academic and professional career, he has worked on multiple applied research, community-based research, and basic research projects. Sagar’s research interest includes investigating the role planners play in creating healthy communities with an emphasis on health equity. Sagar holds a PhD in Regional Development Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s degree in Planning from the University of Southern California.

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)