How Planners Can Improve Public Health

Public health was one of the many topics to merge from the American Planning Association's recent national gathering. Here's a look at the proceedings from the conference's Planning Healthy Communities Symposium.
wsilver / Flickr

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, who heads the American Public Health Association, told the recent APA 2014 National Conference in Atlanta about the critical role of planners in delivering positive public health outcomes, according to an article by Mary Hammon.

"A culture of health means living as long as you can, as well as you can, and have a short but glorious ending," said Dr. Benjamin. "It also means having a system in place that ensures we can all achieve it."

Writes Hammon: "Place-based factors that affect health include access to safe, affordable, nutritious foods and safe water; proximity of industry, trash dumps, and transportation infrastructure and facilities to homes and schools; access to quality education and places to play; equitable access to quality housing; urban sprawl; transportation systems; and more."

Heather Haney also recapped Dr. Benjamin's speech and called attention to two resources: the Community Guide, as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Atlanta Healthy Dashboard: Neighborhood Quality of Life and Health, as provided by the Georgia Tech Center for Geographic Information Systems. 

Full Story: Planners Have a Role in Public Health Mission


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