Healthy Communities

Stahl House Los Angeles

Can L.A. Accomplish Affordability with 'Housing Plus, Plus, Plus'?

Alfred Fraijo Jr., partner at Sheppard Mullin, shares frustration with what he sees as a state inaction on housing and L.A.'s legacy of piecemeal planning and outdated zoning.

October 5, 2020 - The Planning Report

Stay-at-Home Orders

After the Plague: Go Big or Go Backwards?

Among unwelcome lessons of COVID-19 is growing evidence of what was already broken in politics and business. Ben Brown looks at making bold changes in order to improve the lives of the left out and left behind.

May 10, 2020 - PlaceShakers

Tomatoes

Planning Healthy Communities—Beyond the Hype

Evidence-based research can help planners create truly healthy communities. No junk-science please.

March 25, 2020 - Todd Litman

Pedestrians

Op-Ed: Planners Could Do More to Encourage Healthy Communities

In many locales, instruments like traffic studies take pedestrian health into little account. According to Lark Lo, healthy communities haven't been much of a priority at all.

November 18, 2017 - Next City

Designing Buildings to Positively Impact Health and Well-Being

Architects at Gresham, Smith & Partners discuss designing for health and wellness, aligning with the US Green Building Council's WELL Building Standard.

December 15, 2016 - Modern Cities

Collaborative Efforts Boost Maine's Local Food Sytem

An article by Colleen Fuller highlights collaborative initiatives in Maine's food system as well as key challenges the state faces in reaching a goal of increasing and broadening access to, and consumption of, local food.

March 8, 2016 - Maine Association of Planners Front Page

Study: Location Matters for Farmers' Markets

Research conducted in Flint, Michigan, found that changing the location of the local farmers' market had a dramatic effect in how residents shopped.

February 23, 2016 - NPR

Small Town Pedestrian

The Walkable, Healthy Rural Community: A Case Study

Albert Lea, Minnesota proves that small towns can reinvent themselves—often faster than big cities—and that walkable communities aren't only possible in urban neighborhoods.

June 13, 2015 - MinnPost

Glenwood Green Acres, Philadelphia

10 of the Best Urban Agriculture Projects

Urban Land surveys ten of the best recent examples of development projects that incorporate agricultural facilities—from New York to new Orleans.

January 6, 2015 - Urban Land

How the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust Gets the Job Done

In a city of increasingly scarce land, the Los Angeles Neighborhood land Trust has a track record of ushering community gardens and other public health resources in low-income communities.

January 2, 2015 - Seedstock

Runners in D.C.

Ranking the Health and Fitness of Metro Areas (Infrastructure Matters)

Melanie Haiken shares insight into the findings of the American Fitness Index (AFI), which assesses the "Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas."

June 4, 2014 - Forbes

Lessons from San Francisco’s Healthy Corner Store Program

An article from the SPUR's "The Urbanist" shares insight into the work of the Southeast Food Access Working Group (SEFA).

May 19, 2014 - SPUR Urbanist

Empty Swings

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.

May 10, 2014 - APA Conference Blog

Meeting on Common Ground: Community Development and Health Philanthropy Working Together

Often times, the community development field and health philanthropy have worked in the same neighborhoods, but separately. This is changing, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Marjorie Paloma told Shelterforce how.

August 28, 2012 - Shelterforce Magazine

You've Got a Friend in Me: Community Development and Health Sectors Working Together

Sixty percent of premature deaths are accounted for not by medical care or lack thereof, but by social circumstances, environmental conditions, and behavioral patterns. So perhaps the medical field on its own can't prevent them.

August 2, 2012 - Shelterforce

Beach Cities Changing Tide Toward a Healthy Future

Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach are trying to transform homes, workplaces, and schools to improve public health, writes Anna Gorman for the Los Angeles Times.

October 5, 2011 - Los Angeles Times

5 Things That Inspire Me

During these harsh economic times I’ve read about some of the most creative and inspiring planning and design projects in my career. Whether they are the product of the underemployed looking for a creative outlet or a resetting of our values and goals, something magical is happening in the world of planning. Below are 5 things that have inspired my inner planner.  

September 15, 2011 - Melissa Hege

Integrated Planning for Community Health and Safety

Automobile travel imposes significant health risks. Traffic fatality rates, obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes, and total air pollution emissions tend to increase with per capita annual vehicle mileage.

July 25, 2011 - Todd Litman

The Effect of Light on an Environment

Natural and artificial light have a significant effect on the experience of hospital patients and can actually reduce stress and hospital time, says Rosalyn Cama, an interior designer and researcher specializes in health care design.

May 10, 2011 - Metropolis Magazine

Dagwood Should Be Fat, Sick and Impoverished

By all logic, the comic strip character Dagwood should be fat, sick and impoverished due to his gluttonous eating, sedentary habits, and automobile-dependent lifestyle. Blondie should worry about his high blood pressure and clogged arteries [...]

May 4, 2011 - Todd Litman

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

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The best of the Internet—since 2002.

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Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.