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The Planner’s Playbook

A community-centered approach to improving health & equity

Healthy Neighborhoods

Planning affects all aspects of our lives; it shapes our opportunities and guides how communities prioritize competing interests. But planning does not treat all people equitably.

Planning practices have played a central role in creating and perpetuating discrimination that has contributed to a growing divide in health equity, often along racial and economic lines. Although past planning practices have helped create inequities, planners today have the power to help solve them, promoting a just society in which every person can thrive and reach their full potential.

To become part of the solution, planners need a new set of practices and tools to equitably engage communities in developing plans that disrupt patterns of structural disadvantage. The Planner’s Playbook: A Community-Centered Approach to Improving Health & Equity offers guidance, providing resources, concrete steps, and examples for planners who wish to center equity in their planning practice so that their communities promote opportunity and prosperity for all.

The playbook guides the planning process by

  • Discussing how to avoid pitfalls in the conventional planning process that may create or perpetuate disparities;
  • Explaining ways that local agencies can build their capacity to engage community members who have often been left out of planning processes;
  • Outlining strategies for planners and decisionmakers to integrate equity into all phases of planning; and
  • Presenting real-world examples of how communities have incorporated these strategies and actions.

Our playbook is intended for planners, decisionmakers, and other practitioners who develop or influence their local government’s plans and policies and thus shape the pattern, design, and function of their communities.

ChangeLab Solutions is committed to ensuring that all people can live a full and healthy life, regardless of where they live. Planners and policymakers have both the ability and the responsibility to create a roadmap for healthier, more equitable communities. We have designed this playbook to aid that process.