Tuesdays at APA–DC — August 2013

How Well Do Comprehensive Plans Promote Public Health?

August 27, 2013

Since 2010, the American Planning Association has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine the inclusion of public health goals within comprehensive plans and their implementation. This presentation will identify best practices for the effective integration of public health goals into plans and successful approaches to cross-sector collaboration and community partnerships to implement those goals.  

Conclusions from the study show that leadership building across disciplines — both within government agencies and among government, CBOs, and foundations — leads to the strongest plans, with Active Living and Environmental Exposures as the most commonly addressed public health topic areas. Results from the ongoing research show that the use of health data (crash, chronic disease, crime rates) and information on the distribution and accessibility of services and amenities (clinical, transit, retail, recreation) bolsters plans, creates tracking mechanisms, and makes them more relatable to the general public. Such practices also lead to more timely, successful implementation.

Learn from case studies examples of how local government agencies can build upon partnerships for assistance and resources to translate a comprehensive plan from policy document into a set of actions to improve community health. As built environment factors increasingly determine public health outcomes, this presentation offers a clear and targeted avenue for intervention at the highest level of built environment planning.

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)

About the Speakers

Anna RicklinAnna Ricklin is manager of APA's Planning and Community Health Research Center. Ricklin first became aware of the connection between healthy living and the built environment when she worked promoting public transit, walking, and biking in Portland, Oregon. Later, she worked on transit planning and bike projects with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation before joining APA in December 2011. She has a Master of Health Sciences degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Nick KushnerNick Kushner is a research assistant with APA's Planning and Community Health Research Center. Previously, he interned with APA's Community Planning Assistance Teams program, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Living City Block. Before returning to D.C. to pursue graduate education, Kushner held a number of positions in the field of refugee resettlement, working extensively in East Africa. He has Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Public and International Affairs degrees from Virginia Tech.