Resources for Planning Healthy Neighborhoods
This webpage hosts the online resources highlighted in ILG’s Understanding the Basics of Planning & Land Use: Guide to Planning Healthy Neighborhoods.
Click on the each chapter below to see an expanded list of resources, organized in order of appearance within that chapter. Access the full Guide to Planning Healthy Neighborhoods at the bottom of this page.
Chapter 1: Health and the Built Environment
How Planning and Community Design Affect Health
Promoting Physical Activity and Active Living in Urban Environments: The Role of Local Government, The World Health Organization
Community Design: A Toolkit for Building Physical Activity into Daily Life, Metropolitan Design Center, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota
Community Health and Food Access: The Local Government Role, International City/County Management Association
Food Access Solutions to Create Healthy Counties, National Association of Counties
Designed for Disease: The Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, PolicyLink, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Counties and Local Food Systems: Ensuring Healthy Foods, Nurturing Healthy Children, National Association of Counties
The Planner’s Guide to the Urban Food System, University of
School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Center for Sustainable Cities
Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food System Planning, American Planning Association
Funding Open Space Acquisition Programs, Institute for Local Government
The Farmland Protection Action Guide: 24 Strategies for California, Institute for Local Government
Trees the Air Pollution Solution, United States Department of Agriculture, Center for Urban Forest Research
Influencing Air Quality with Comprehensive Planning and Ordinances, Design for Health, University of Minnesota
Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement, and Action, The Center for Civic Partnerships
CDC Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
County Health and County Park and Recreation Department Partnerships to Create Active Healthy Communities, National Association of Counties
Policy Brief: Healthy Parks, Healthy Communities, The Trust for Public Land
Healthy Eating & Physical Activity: Addressing Inequities in Urban Environments, Prevention Institute
Leveraging Land Use and Economic Development Practices to Improve Health Disparities, California Health Policy Forum
Active Living and Social Equity: Creating Healthy Communities for All Residents, International City/County Management Association
Local Officials as Leaders in Planning Healthy Neighborhoods
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Institute of Medicine
Rural Obesity: Strategies to Support Rural Counties in Building Capacity, National Association of Counties
Action Strategies Toolkit: A Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity, Leadership for Healthy Communities, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Fact Sheet: Why adopt an Obesity Prevention Resolution? Public Health Law & Policy, National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity
The Evolving Field of Land-Use Planning
Promoting and Protecting Healthy Communities: A City Officials Guide to Public Health, National Association of City and County Health Officials
Chapter 2: The Healthy Planning Toolkit
Planning, Zoning and Environmental Review Tools
Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: A Guide to Local Planning, Institute for Local Government
Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: A Glossary of Land Use and Planning Terms, Institute for Local Government
About General Plan Amendments, Institute for Local Government. This one-pager explains 1) what a “general plan amendment” is, 2) how general plan amendments fit into our efforts to shape our surroundings, and 3) how you can participate in the decision-making process. Available in English and Spanish.
About Zone Changes (Rezoning), Institute
for Local Government.
This one-pager explains 1) what a “zone change” is, 2) how zone changes fit into our efforts to shape our surroundings, and 3) how you can participate in the decision-making process. Available in English and Spanish.
About Specific Plans, Institute for Local Government. This one-pager explains 1) what a “specific plan” is, 2) how specific plans fit into our efforts to shape our surroundings, and 3) how you can participate in the decision-making process. Available in English and Spanish.
Planning and Land Use Solutions to Create Active, Healthy Counties, National Association of Counties
Smart Growth at the Frontier: Strategies and Resources for Rural Communities, Northeast – Midwest Institute
General Plans and Zoning: A Toolkit on Land Use and Health, Public Health Law & Policy
Healthy Planning Policies: A Compendium from California General Plans, Public Health Law & Policy
The Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities and Walkable Community Design, Active Living Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Transportation Solutions to Create Active, Healthy Counties, National Association of Counties
Institute for Local Government’s online resource center on SB 375 and regional planning
About Conditional Use Permits, Institute for Local Government. This one-pager explains 1) what a “conditional use permit” is, 2) how such permits fit into our efforts to shape our surroundings, and 3) how you can participate in the decision-making process.
Creating a Regulatory Blueprint for Healthy Community Design: A Local Government Guide to Reforming Zoning and Land Development Codes, International City/County Management Association
Establishing Land Use protections for Farmers Market, Public Health Law & Policy
Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning, Glossary of Land Use and Planning Terms, Institute for Local Government
Case Story: Zoning and Community Design,
Town of Windsor, Sonoma County
Healthy Development Measurement Tool, San Francisco Department of Public Health
CDC Health Impact Assessment Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Economic Development and Redevelopment
Economic Development and Redevelopment: A Toolkit on Land Use and Health, Public Health Law & Policy
Building Public Support for Affordable Housing: A Toolbox for California Officials, Institute for Local Government
The California Inclusionary Housing Reader, Institute for Local Government
Establishing a Local Housing Trust Fund, A Guide for California Officials, Institute for Local Government
Where We Live Matters for Our Health: The Links between Housing and Health, Commission to Build a Healthier America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Healthy Housing Reference Manual, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Affordable-Accessible Housing In A Dynamic City Why and How to Increase Affordable Housing Development in Accessible Locations, Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Restructuring the Commercial Strip: A Practical Guide for Planning the Revitalization of Deteriorating Strip Corridors, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Public Facilities and Services
Planning Complete Street for an Aging America, AARP Public Policy Institute
Complete Streets Promote Good Health, National Complete Streets Coalition
Getting to Grocery, Tools for Attracting Healthy Food Retail to Underserved Neighborhoods, Public Health Law and Policy
Code Compliance and Enforcement Tools
Considering Safety through Comprehensive Planning and Ordinances, Design for Health, University of Minnesota
Chapter 3: Tips for Taking Action
Assessing Needs and Understanding Special Populations
Building Public Understanding: The Link between Health and Planning, Design for Health, University of Minnesota
Active Living for Older Adults: Management Strategies for Healthy and Livable Communities, International City/County Management Association
Growing Smarter Living Healthier: A Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Institute for Local Government: Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance program
Identifying Funding Opportunities
Regional Funding Programs
State Funding Programs
The Office of Local Assistance in the California Department of Parks and Recreation provides funding for local park improvements
The State Allocation Board provides funding to construct and renovate schools, which can include playgrounds, athletic facilities and community or school-use gardens.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) administers the Safe Routes to Schools program that funds infrastructure improvements, such as constructing sidewalks and crosswalks, creating bicycle paths and installing count-down signals. Funds are also available for “non-infrastructure” projects to educate and encourage young people to walk and ride their bikes.
The Strategic Growth Council offers grants to local and regional agencies to support General Plans and other planning efforts that promote the development of sustainable communities.
California Department of Public Health funds the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) Program, which has awarded grants to 75 communities to date. The CHCC Network, a membership program, supports healthy city and community work and alerts members about funding and other resources.
Federal Funding Programs
The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department of Housing and Urban Development have initiated an Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities to provide resources and technical assistance to state and local agencies.
The Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administers a competitive grant program for state and local health departments to develop community partnerships that address obesity, physical activity and nutrition.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Community Development Block Grants to local agencies, which can be used to improve neighborhoods, increase the supply of affordable housing and attract new economic uses, such as grocery stores, to underserved communities.
The Department of Agriculture operates a number of programs to provide nutrition services and support community-based agriculture. These programs can assist local agencies that are working to conserve farmland and to promote farmers markets, community gardens and other efforts to increase access to nutritious food.
Building Healthy Communities (BHC), a program of The California Endowment
Active Living By Design, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign, a joint effort of the League of California Cities, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the Cities Counties and Schools Partnership and supported by Kaiser Permanente.
The Food and Fitness Initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Reaching and Engaging the Public
The Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance Program provides access to a variety of tools and resources on how local officials can choose the most appropriate approach to involve the public in decision-making.
Principles of Local Government Public Engagement, Institute for Local Government