Small and rural planning and zoning commissions often have limited capacity. In response, the Eastern Highlands Health District Community Health Action Response Team (C.H.A.R.T.) coalition will develop a toolkit aimed at assisting planning and zoning commissions with understanding how planning can impact long-term public health. The toolkit will also gather resources that can be used by local planning and zoning commission members to evaluate planning options and make decisions informed by their potential health impact. An important component of the funded project includes strategies aimed at increasing civic engagement and citizen influence over local planning and zoning decisions.
This effort is supported by a $100,000 grant form the American Planning Association through its Plan4Health program to combat two determinants of chronic disease - lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods. Plan4Health is a 15-month program that strengthens the connection between planning and public health. The program is implemented in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and represents a major new collaboration between planners and public health professionals. Funding for Plan4Health was provided through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is an exciting new opportunity to improve the health of our communities through diverse partnerships,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, manager of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center. “Collaboration is key if we want to continue to create communities of lasting value that are equitable and healthy for all residents.”
Eighteen coalitions were selected for the Plan4Health program after a competitive review process.
In addition to the Eastern Highlands Health District Community Health Action Response Team being selected, the following 17 coalitions also received funding:
1. Healthy Savannah, Inc.; Chatham County, Georgia
2. Health Transformers; Vista Neighborhood, Boise, Idaho
3. B-Well Bensenville Plan4Heath Coalition; Bensenville, Illinois
4. Kane County Planning Cooperative; Kane County, Illinois
5. Reach Healthy Communities; Columbus, Indiana
6. Health by Design; Indianapolis/Marion County, Indiana
7. Planning Healthy Iowa Communities; Linn County, Iowa
8. Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition; Kenton County, Kentucky
9. Inner Core Community Health Improvement Coalition; Metro Boston, Massachusetts
10. Healthy Eating, Active Living Partnership – Active Living Workgroup; St. Louis, Missouri
11. Plan4Health – Nashua, an initiative of the Greater Nashua Public Health Network; Nashua, New Hampshire
12. Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative; Trenton, New Jersey
13. Live Well Kingston; Kingston, New York
14. Columbus Public Health – Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Board; Columbus, Ohio
15. Plan 4 Health Summit County; Summit County, Ohio
16. Austin-Vámonos Rundberg Coalition; Rundberg Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
17. Capital Region Healthy Communities, Dane County, Wisconsin
For more information about the Plan4Health program, visit www.plan4health.us or follow the hashtag #Plan4Health on Twitter.