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Long-Range Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity

A primer for local governments

Healthy Neighborhoods

Where people live profoundly affects their health. City and regional planning plays a critical role in determining how healthy or unhealthy communities are.

Unfortunately, many common planning practices have made some places much healthier than others. Planning practices have also contributed to the high percentage of poor people and people of color who live in unhealthy places, widening disparities in health and wealth. By integrating health and equity considerations into planning practices, planners have the power to revise past planning decisions and create healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities.

To help planners across the country advance this important work, ChangeLab Solutions has created Long Range-Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity: A Primer for Local Governments. This primer poses a series of questions in order to provoke thoughts on how planners can prioritize health and equity in their work. The answers to these questions provide

  • A framework for aligning health equity policies across local government departments; and
  • Broad guidance on incorporating equity in long-range planning, community engagement, investment, and evaluation processes.

This primer is invaluable in that it reflects real-world experience in how to get this work done. As a planner, I appreciate that you have clearly connected the dots between interdisciplinary themes, causes, and strategies for health and equity in planning. The primer is well-written, informative, and inspirational. Thank you for such an invaluable tool. . . . Well done!

— Gretchen Armijo, Founder & President, Equity Policy Solutions, and for and former planner at City of Denver

Readers of this resource will also gain an understanding of the ways that planning can support or impede health equity, as well as insight into how to integrate health and equity into everyday planning practice and decisionmaking. The Primer is for planners, local leaders, advocates, researchers, and consultants who want to advance health and equity in their communities through long-range planning.

ChangeLab Solutions is committed to creating healthier communities for all by advancing equitable laws and policies and prioritizing communities whose residents are at the highest risk for poor health. Please join us in working to advance health equity by using the information in this primer to guide healthy comprehensive planning.