Planning and Community Health


Community design directly effects human health. Development patterns, zoning, and land use impact walkability and transportation options, access to services, the availability of healthy foods, and vulnerability to hazards.

Planners can help create places that offer choices for everyone to be healthy and safe

APA's Planning and Community Health program provides tools and technical support to members so they can integrate health into planning practice at all levels. Areas of focus include active living, healthy eating, and health in all planning policies. We implement our aims through applied research, place-based investment, and education.

Featured Resources

Promote Healthy Communities — A Joint Call to Action

The Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities brings together eight national organizations calling upon members to collaborate with one another to create healthier, more equitable communities.

Metrics for Planning Healthy Communities

A set of healthy planning metrics that can be used to access, measure, monitor, and report progress toward healthy planning goals.

What We're Working On


Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings APA members together with members of the American Public Health Association (APHA), Plan4Health builds local capacity to address health goals using planning strategies. Coalitions made up of APA chapters, APHA affiliate groups, and others are working to set a new paradigm for healthy planning and address tough problems by leveraging complementary expertise and influence.


Based on the successes and lessons learned from Plan4Health, the Planning and Community Health Center has established a new initiative to build the capacity of APA chapters to make health a chapter priority.

Tools for Planners to Address Health

This project will develop technical tools, educational resources, and professional development guidance that enhances opportunities to pursue health-oriented planning.

Completed Projects

Arts, Culture & Creativity

Benefits of Street Scale Features for Walking and Biking

Complete Streets

Growing Food Connections

Healthy Communities through Collaboration

Health Impact Assessment's Role in Planning

Planning for Food Access

Planning for Public Health

Urban Agriculture

Community Health Blog Posts