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Healthy Planning Policies

A Compendium from California General Plans

Healthy Neighborhoods

As communities look to promote residents’ health through local planning and development, one strategy with the greatest impact may lie in their general plans. As the “constitution” of a community, the general plan underlies all decisions about how land is used.

In the last few years, a new understanding of the built environment’s impact on health has brought the public health community and planners together to develop a variety of innovative land use policies that promote health. Under California’s recent climate change legislation, climate change impact (both mitigation and adaptation) will be an additional necessary consideration in all general plan updates.

Healthy Planning Policies: A Compendium from California General Plans excerpts language from general plans that have gone a step beyond the traditional to build healthier communities, reflecting the growing diversity of strategies for integrating health into planning.