Land Use Planning and Design Services
In cooperation with the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NEHA is partnering with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) to educate environmental public health professionals and local government managers about the strategic advantages of integrating health goals and land use planning and design decisions. Specifically, NEHA and ICMA have developed four case studies highlighting exceptional or creative solutions in local government that integrate environmental health considerations into land use planning and design. Currently, the full Tri-County Health Department, Ingham County Health Department, Seattle-King County Health Department, and Delaware County Health Department case studies are available here. Also, don't miss 'Role of Environmental Health Professionals in Improving the Built Environment,' published in the July/August 2008 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.
Environmental public health professionals, planners, architects, transportation engineers, county managers, etc. and the community all play an important role to ensure that communities have healthy environments and support healthy behaviors. These various disciplines must collaboratively work toward: protecting the air and water quality and open space, ensuring social equity, developing and connecting sidewalks, trails and paths, streets, and nearby services to encourage physical activity such as walking and bicycling, and providing curb cuts for those with mobility impairments. Land use planning/design decisions can have negative consequences on public health, ranging from obesity and chronic disease (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, cancer) to injuries related to traffic and pedestrian safety, and even psychological stress. Additionally, planning and design decisions have a direct bearing on access to health care, housing, schools, jobs, and overall quality of life of citizens. Given the range of health implications related to land use planning and design, it is pertinent that health considerations are an integral part of any land use and transportation process.