Prioritizing health & equity in planning

Where people live, play, work, and learn affects their health. And planning decisions underlie many elements of the built environment in our communities — from housing and transportation to schools, public spaces, and food outlets. City and regional planners can be crucial leaders and partners in ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to live a healthy life.

Many past planning decisions have promoted systems, environments, and behaviors that contribute to significant health disparities between different groups of people. Undoing the harms caused by past planning policies and choices requires plans that have health and equity built in from the ground up. Incorporating health equity in planning can transform communities in ways that will ensure healthier lives for all residents.

ChangeLab Solutions believes that no one should be disadvantaged in achieving their full health potential because of where they live, who they are, or what social position they occupy. Our planning resources can help planners, decisionmakers, and their partners promote health equity in their communities.

Planning Primer
Long-Range Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity
Planners have the power to help create healthy, fair communities. This primer explains how planners can prioritize health and equity in their everyday work and decisionmaking.
The Planner's Playbook Feature Image
The Planner’s Playbook
Planners can help dismantle inequities caused by past discriminatory policies. This practical guide offers concrete steps, resources, and examples to help planners engage community members and center equity at every stage of their planning practice.
Planning for Healthy Equitable Communities
Planning for Healthy, Equitable Communities
These three infographics are for public health practitioners who wish to partner with urban and regional planners.
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Focusing on Equity in the Planning Process
From housing density and affordability to the location of workplaces, schools, stores, and transportation hubs, decisions made by planners and policymakers in the past have shaped the way our communities appear now.

Healthy Neighborhood Collections

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