Health in All Planning

The way a city develops and invests in infrastructure has a profound impact on the wellbeing of its residents. For all people, but especially, for those individuals experiencing poverty, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, transit dependent individuals and other vulnerable populations – access to health promoting resources such as public and active transportation options; public parks and open spaces; quality affordable housing; fresh, healthy food; education and jobs are especially important.

Proper investment, planning and implementation of principles and policies that support healthy community design allows for the reduction of health disparities, resulting in more equitable communities where all can thrive and live to their fullest potential.

Healthy Community Design Toolkit

The AALC created the Healthy Community Design toolkit to assist those that are reviewing formal planning documents. Since the planning process can be complicated, the Toolkit easily spells out the different elements commonly found in General Plans, Comprehensive Plans, etc. Within each element, we’ve included a checklist of research-based recommendations and policies that can improve health.

To access the toolkit, click here.

General Plans

Members of the AALC regularly collaborate with stakeholders to work toward the inclusion of healthy community policies into public policy plans such as municipal general plans and county comprehensive plans. Below are plans that we have collaborated with planners on and provided detailed comments on.

Transportation Plans

Transportation plans, policies and projects can either simplify or complicate people’s ability to conveniently travel to meet their daily needs, which subsequently allows for individuals to be more physically active and reduce their risk for chronic disease. Key to this ability is making it easier for people to utilize active transportation, including walking and bicycling, to safely reach their everyday destinations. To accomplish this, we as a society and as a region should think systemically and inclusively to prioritize the development of a more equitable transportation system.

Organizations such as the American Public Health Association, which has worked to improve the country’s health for over 145 years, defines a truly equitable transportation system as one that is carefully designed to support and improve community health. Collaboration between transportation professionals and health practitioners has also been supported by national agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration within the US Department of Transportation. Below are transportation projects the AALC has worked with different agencies on.