Community Design for Public Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting in the urban design racket with a new guide to community design that focuses on how urban form can affect public health.

Based on input from an interdisciplinary group of organizations, the CDC's new report is intended to help planners and designers understand the various ways that community design can negatively impact public health.

"A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), created with input from ASLA, illustrates the importance of considering public-health factors, such as physical activity, respiratory and mental health, water quality, social equity, healthy aging, and social capital, when creating the built environment.

The report is the latest product of CDC's Healthy Community Design Initiative, aimed at combating soaring rates of asthma, diabetes, and obesity by improving the way communities are designed."

Full Story: New CDC Report Tells How to Design Communities to Support Good Health

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Official Plan Policies to Support Healthy Communities

Another helpful resource is the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's "Healthy Community Design: Policy Statements for Official Plans". It is now available for download: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/JFY/OurCommunity/healthyplaces/Health...

Although it is focused on the Planning context of Ontario, Canada; if you are involved in updating an Official Plan/Comprehensive Plan you will find this document a useful tool for integrating policies specifically directed at community health and livability. The report also contains suggestions for short, medium, and long term implementation initiatives.

The Health Unit should be commended for taking this step to assist Planners and elected officials in the creation of healthy livable communities, and I am pleased to have been able to assist them in this valuable work.

If you are aware of other similar resources please post them.

rob voigt
Urban Planner, Facilitator, Artist, Blogger.
www.civicblogger.blogspot.com
rob@robvoigt.com

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