Skip to main content Skip to site navigation

Resources to Support Your Efforts
Health, Planning & Community Design


Creating neighborhoods that locate parks near residential areas, provide community spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, and allow for compact mixed-use development that co-locates housing, jobs, services, and transportation and facilitates walking and bicycling are all design features that promote health.

These resources can support and inform your efforts to include health in planning and community design decisions.


Building In Healthy Infill
ChangeLab Solutions, June 2014

Building In Healthy Infill provides an overview of four core issues of critical concern to creating healthy infill: (1) transportation, (2) air quality, (3) access to daily needs and services, and (4) quality, affordable housing. This guide also includes tips and strategies for planners and public health advocates, and examples of general plan policies that support healthy infill in diverse California communities.


Healthy Community Design Checklist Toolkit
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2013

This toolkit can help planners, public health professionals and the general public include health in the community planning process. The toolkit includes: a handout to help educate residents on health issues at public meetings where land use decisions are being made, a PowerPoint presentation which explains the handout, and resources for finding health data and planning a more healthy community.

Webinar City of Delano
City of Delano Achieves Broad Public Engagement for Health & Inclusiveness

City of Delano Achieves Broad Public Engagement for Health & Inclusiveness
Learn about health, land use & community design

Watch this webinar recording hosted January 13, 2013 and featuring Keith Woodcock, Director of Community and Regional Planning Center at California State University, Fresno discussing strategies the City of Delano used to engage its community to improve health through community design.


How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans
ChangeLab Solutions, 2012

A toolkit on land-use policy changes that promote healthy communities, complete with model language and specific policy strategies that can be implemented through the general plan. Download the toolkit from ChangeLab Solutions’ website.


Model Design Manual for Living Streets

The Model Design Manual for Livable Streets incorporates features that public works staff, planners, and other local officials can use to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable.

The free manual, developed by the LA County Department of Public Health RENEW LA County Initiative, is available in PDF, Microsoft Word and InDesign formats, allowing cities and counties to customize the document for their own local context and insert it in their local manuals. (November 2011)

Download the Manual on the right.


ILG Hosts Sustainable Community Planning Session at Planners Conference
March 2010

The Institute’s session, Ensuring Mobility in the New Era, featured presentations on how demographic changes and interest in more healthy and sustainable communities is sparking changes in the way local communities plan for transportation.


Action Strategies Toolkit: A Guide for Local & State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities & Prevent Childhood Obesity
Leadership for Healthy Communities, 2010

This guide for local and state leaders outlines the role of policy-makers in preventing childhood obesity and proposes healthy eating and active living strategies for designing healthy communities.


From the Ground Up: Land Use Policies to Protections & Promote Farmers’ Markets
ChangeLab Solutions, 2009

This ChangeLab Solutions guide provides an overview of farmers’ market policy issues and community tested best practices. It also features a set of complementary model land use policies for comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances.  Visit their website to download the publication.


Neighborhood-Scale Planning Tools to Create Active, Livable Communities
Leadership for Healthy Communities, 2008

This six-page fact sheet offers tips, tools, and case studies to help communities align planning with the implementation of walkable community design.


General Plans and Zoning: A Toolkit on Land Use and Health
ChangeLab Solutions, 2007

A great resource for community members and community leaders that outlines the connections between land-use and health and the mechanisms that direct land use decisions. Includes success stories from local governments throughout California. Available on ChangeLab Solutions’ website.


Community Design: A Toolkit for Building Physical Activity into Daily Life
Metropolitan Design Center, 2005

This toolkit provides background information and tools for addressing how the physical environment affects physical activity and how changes in the environment can promote active living.


Example Comprehensive Plan Policies to Support Physically Active Communities
State of Washington Department of Trade, Communities & Economic Development, 2007

Reviews the many ways communities in Washington state support physically active communities with land use and transportation planning, public transportation, parks and recreation facilities and activities, careful school and worksite siting, bicycle and pedestrian education and encouragement, and traffic law enforcement.


Creating a Regulatory Blueprint for Healthy Community Design: A Local Government Guide to Reforming Zoning and Land Development Codes
International City/County Management Association (ICMA), 2005

This guide provides a strategic framework for creating opportunities to improve the built environment to promote health by reforming zoning and related development codes to encourage more compact, vibrant communities.


Design for Health: Planning Information Sheets

The Design for Health Comprehensive Plan and Ordinance Series provides planners information about opportunities to address health through the planning process.  The information sheets are organized by health topic and by planning concept for ease of use by both planners and health professionals.


Land Use Policies that Support Walking
Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center houses resources and examples of policies that promote walking including form based codes, performance and incentive zoning, overlay districts, transit oriented development, and school siting guidelines.

Log in