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210 Health Community Planning Toolbox - Planning

Healthy Community Planning Toolbox

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A toolbox for jurisdictions of all sizes and forms.

Places and communities

Healthy communities are places where equal opportunities exist for everyone to enjoy a livable environment (planet), a vibrant economy (prosperity) and a fair society (people). More than the natural environment contributes to people’s ability to make healthy choices. Neighborhood assets like good parks, pedestrian and bike friendly street design, community gathering places and other community planning decisions also influence community health. Planning for healthy communities is about providing fair access to opportunities so the healthy choice is the easy choice for everyone.

Our cities and towns range from large and medium-sized to small and rural. The built form of these communities varies. A downtown is the core of some communities. Others may sprawl along highways or corridors. Some have public transit, others do not. Larger communities—like Tacoma—have multiple mixed-use areas identified for future growth.

The health lens

The two ways to wear the health lens when developing or updating planning documents are:

  • Integrate health considerations in the planning and decision-making process. This includes expanding meaningful public outreach and forming advisory committees to include underserved populations. Consider using the process tools below.
  • Introduce policies that can affect changes to health outcomes. Consider using the policy tools below.

The planning toolbox

This toolbox will help planners incorporate health into comprehensive plans required or encouraged under various policy directives. Each community can customize tools to fit their unique needs, aspirations, health priorities, disparities and existing resources.


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