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Policy Strategies

Active Living and Social Equity: Creating Healthy Communities for All Residents: A Guide for Local Governments [PDF–403KB]

Describes how local governments can design healthy communities for all residents and explains the connection between active living and social equity.

Age-Friendly Built Environments: Opportunities for Local Government

Offers six fact sheets that cover a range of age-friendly built environment issues relevant to local government.

Bringing People to Good Food and Good Food to People [PDF–9.24MB]

Presents recommendations for attracting and improving food retail by describing the challenges and successes in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

Fostering Physical Activity for Children and Youth: Opportunities for a Lifetime of Health

Provides background research on physical activity rates and highlights organizational practices and public policies to improve them.

Healthy Planning Guide [PDF–555KB]

Lists many ways the local government can enact policy, systems, and environmental change to improve community health.

Healthy Planning Policies: A Compendium from California General Plans [PDF–1.18MB]

Offers excerpts from general plans that aim to build healthier communities and reflect the growing diversity of strategies for integrating health into planning.

Increasing Active Living: A Guide for Policy Makers [PDF–467KB]

Focuses on the importance of the built environment and explains how it can encourage or discourage routine physical activity, and lists policy recommendations to encourage active living.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design—A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

Describes ways to improve conditions for walking and biking and obtain funding to implement projects.

Make The Move National Physical Activity Plan [PDF–1.49MB]

Resource provides a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population.

Model Comprehensive Plan Language on Complete Streets [PDF–629KB]

Provides language to develop a transportation vision statement and a Complete Streets policy package to encourage the integration of complete streets in interagency planning for growth and infrastructure projects.

Obesity Prevention on a Budget: Low- and No-Cost Policy Options to Increase Healthy Eating and Active Living [PDF–2.39MB]

Presents a range of budget-conscious policy approaches that leverage existing resources and partnerships to reduce local obesity rates by increasing opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

Promising Strategies for Creating Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments [PDF–1.5MB]

Offers a comprehensive, cross-cutting review of policy, strategy, and program recommendations to create healthy eating and active living environments.

Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States

Contains 24 recommended obesity prevention strategies focusing on environmental and policy level change initiatives that can be implemented by local government and school districts to promote healthy eating and active living.

Roadmap to Improving Food and Physical Activity Environments: Tips and Tools for Community Change. Second Edition [PDF–2.26MB]

Includes examples, tips, and lessons from the Healthy Eating, Active Living program and details how successes were accomplished.

Rural Obesity: Strategies to Support Rural Counties in Building Capacity [PDF–1.38MB]

Describes strategies that rural counties can use to build capacity for obesity prevention and provides recommendations about how the philanthropic community can help.

Safe Routes to School Local Policy Guide [PDF–4.38MB]

Offers policies that will help all communities to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes related to increasing children's physical activity levels.

Strategies for Enhancing the Built Environment to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living

Describes built environment issues from the perspective of public health, environmental justice, sustainable food systems, economic development, equity, and climate change.

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Built Environment and Infrastructure

Active Design Guidelines

Provides a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets, and urban spaces on the basis of the latest academic research and best practices in the field and includes urban design strategies, building design strategies, and a discussion of the synergies between active design and sustainable design.

Bicycle Friendly Communities: Lessons from Los Angeles County [PDF–2.05MB]

This guide was created to reinforce that progress and help more communities move toward bicycle-friendliness.

Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook [PDF–4.89MB]

Workbook highlights best transportation practices and offers recommendations about how to effectively write and implement Complete Streets policies uniquely designed to meet community needs.

Design Guidelines for Active Michigan Communities: Imagining, Creating, and Improving Communities for Physical Activity, Active Living, and Recreation

Resource provides design guidelines to create spaces for physical activity like walking and biking and provides guidance on developing a vision and taking steps to create change in the community.

From Fitness Zones to the Medical Mile: How Urban Park Systems Can Best Promote Health and Wellness [PDF–1.4MB]

Details more than 75 innovative features and programs that maximize a park's ability to promote physical activity and improve health.

Healthy Community Webinar Series, Webinar 1: Planning and Implementing the Active Community

This webinar focuses on four organizations' efforts to prioritize active transportation, improve opportunities for pedestrian and bicycling activities, and support active living.

Healthy Development Measurement Tool

Provides a set of metrics to evaluate how land use plans, projects, or policies will advance human health.

Housing and Health: New Opportunities for Dialogue and Action [PDF–1.5MB]

This concept paper explores the many ways in which housing affects health, and outlines next steps for fostering greater collaboration between the health and housing fields.

In Brief: Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized Housing Opportunities near Transit and the 50+ Population [PDF–84.3KB]

The report explores the benefits for older persons of federally subsidized housing near transit, the threats to preserving and expanding that housing, and policies that can maximize both the amount of housing and the potential benefits.

Livability and Smart Growth Assessment Tools Database

Provides centralized access to assessment tools and checklists so that communities can assess livability and create safer and healthier neighborhoods.

Model Comprehensive Plan Language on Complete Streets [PDF–629KB]

Provides language to develop a transportation vision statement and a Complete Streets policy package to encourage the integration of Complete Streets in interagency planning for growth and infrastructure projects.

Model Design Manual for Living Streets

Focuses on all users and all modes of transportation and will help a community to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users can travel safely and comfortably.

Places for Physical Activity: Facilitating Development of a Community Trail and Promoting Its Use to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults An Action Guide

Guides readers through the implementation process of forming a coalition, obtaining funding, and building a community trail.

PlaNYC: New York City Comprehensive Plan

Describes New York City's vision for the future and the need to prepare the city for 1 million more residents, strengthen the economy, combat climate change, and enhance quality of life.

Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Tools

The RALA Tools assess the physical environment features and amenities, town characteristics, community programs, and policies that can affect physical activity among residents in rural communities.

Safe Routes to School Online Guide

Comprehensive online toolkit provides extensive information on all aspects of implementing Safe Routes elements, including engineering, enforcement, encouragement, evaluation, and education.

School Siting Guidelines [PDF–2.45MB]

Guides school districts and local governments through the process of locating new schools that takes into account children's vulnerabilities to pollution, modes of transportation for students and staff, and efficient energy use.

Standards for Subdivisions and Uses Requiring Site Plans [PDF–1.35MB]

Subdivision ordinance requires sidewalks, a high level of street connectivity, open space, and includes a traditional neighborhood design option.

Street Design Manual [PDF–11.13MB]

Provides policies and design guidelines for city agencies, designers, private developers, and community groups for improving streets and sidewalks.

Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Boerne

Subdivision ordinance requires context-based street design, sidewalks, bike facilities, and open space in new developments

Transportation Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Toolkit

Provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to conduct HIAs on proposed transportation projects, plans, and policies.

Tools for Transforming Sprawl into Livable Communities [PDF–3.85MB]

Factsheet provides an overview of how sprawl affects health, and offers ways to start transforming sprawl into livable communities.

Urban Bikeway Design Guide 2nd Edition

Guide provides cities with solutions for creating safe and enjoyable complete streets bicyclists

Utah Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Design Guide [PDF–7.54MB]

Plan provides tools for communities to create walking and biking plans.

Walk Friendly Communities Community Assessment Tool [PDF–1.39MB]

Provides a way for communities to evaluate their community and improve its walkability.

Walkability Checklist [PDF–216KB]

Provides a three-page checklist to evaluate a community's walkability.

Walkable Subdivisions [PDF–310KB]

Subdivision ordinance requires built environment standards including sidewalks and "micro-pathways" between new development and existing destinations.

Working with Elected Officials to Promote Healthy Land Use Planning & Community Design [PDF–59.15KB]

Fact sheet describes how to develop strategies to promote healthy land use.

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Joint Use Agreements

Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in Health Impact Assessment [PDF–1.3MB]

Guide distills stakeholder participation techniques, case studies, and guiding principles from various fields of expertise, including HIA, environmental and social impact assessment, and land use and transportation planning

Finding Space to Play - Legal and Policy Issues Impacting Community Recreational Use of School Property [PDF–1.82MB]

Resource provides information regarding current efforts in the public health community to promote community recreational use of school property

Highlights from Four California Communities Working to Advance Joint Use Webinar

Details the achievements, challenges, and resources used to implement and sustain joint use agreements in four communities.

Joint Use of District and City Recreation Facilities [PDF–332KB]

Allows the community to use designated school district outdoor recreation facilities.

Opening Indoor and Outdoor School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours [PDF–323KB]

Allows the community to use designated school district indoor and outdoor recreation facilities.

Opening Outdoor School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours [PDF–321KB]

Allows the community to use designated school district indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and allows third parties to operate recreation programs using school facilities.

Opening School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours and Authorizing Third Parties to Operate Programs [PDF–340KB]

Opens up both school district and local government facilities to be used by community, school, and third party groups.

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Complete Streets

Complete Intersections: A Guide to Reconstructing Intersections and Interchanges for Bicyclists and Pedestrians [PDF–3.67MB]

Comprehensive guide to how intersections may be redesigned to include the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Complete Streets Complete Networks: A Manual for the Design of Active Transportation

Manual provides the tools needed for designing complete roadways

Complete Streets in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments [PDF–20.44MB]

Toolkit describes what complete streets are and how local governments can evaluate their community vision, plans, policies, design standards, and facility maintenance standards to ensure that complete streets ideas are included.

Complete Streets in Small Towns [PDF–310KB]

Fact sheet on how a complete streets policy benefits a small town or rural area.

Complete Streets Policy Workbook [PDF–4.68MB]

This document is to help more places in the U.S. achieve healthier communities through engagement with the transportation planning systems.

Complete the Streets: Using Street Design to Create Healthier Communities

Webinar that introduces public health practitioners and policy makers to complete streets concepts and describes street design changes in Columbia, Missouri, to improve walkability and bike-ability.

Introduction to Complete Streets

Presents an introduction to Complete Streets in a PowerPoint format that may be used by anyone interested in promoting its principles in his or her community.

Model Comprehensive Plan Language on Complete Streets [PDF–629KB]

Provides language to develop a transportation vision statement and a Complete Streets policy package to encourage the integration of Complete Streets in interagency planning for growth and infrastructure projects.

Model Laws and Resolutions: Complete Streets

Presents model laws and resolutions for communities that want to create a more livable community that allows all residents to travel safely and conveniently.

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Zoning and Local Government Tools

Active Living and Social Equity: Creating Healthy Communities for All Residents: A Guide for Local Governments [PDF–403KB]

Provides local government managers, department heads, and staff with a basic understanding of the connections between active living and social equity and offers a toolbox of local government strategies for addressing these issues.

Age-Friendly Built Environments: Opportunities for Local Government

Offers six fact sheets that cover a range of age-friendly built environment issues relevant to local government.

Comprehensive Planning for Public Health [PDF–7.9MB]

Reports findings of a national survey to determine the prevalence of public-health-related elements in local comprehensive plans.

General Plans and Zoning: A Toolkit for Building Healthy, Vibrant Communities [PDF–4.22MB]

Provides a fundamental, introductory understanding of how land use decisions are made and how nutrition and public health advocates can effectively participate in those decisions.

Healthier Communities Through Redevelopment [PDF–3.34MB]

Provides an overview of what redevelopment is, how it's funded, and how public health advocates can influence it.

Healthy Decatur: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability [PDF–736KB]

Outlines the strategies and long-term programs undertaken by residents and local government officials in Decatur, Georgia, to encourage active lifestyles.

Healthy Development Measurement Tool

Provides a set of metrics to evaluate how land use plans, projects, or policies will advance human health.

Healthy Planning 101 Webinar

Webinar that describes how land-use and zoning policies are being used to promote healthy eating and active living.

How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans [PDF–2.1MB]

Provides a progression of steps focused on the general plan and details a wide strange of strategies to help create and implement policy change.

How to Use Redevelopment to Create Healthy Communities [PDF–642KB]

Briefly introduces redevelopment to public health advocates and highlights ways for them to engage in the process.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design—A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

Describes ways to improve conditions for walking and biking and obtain funding to implement projects.

Neighborhood Scale Planning Tools to Create Active, Livable Communities [PDF–502KB]

Offers tools, tips, and case studies to help communities align planning with implementing a walkable community design.

New Partnerships for Healthier Neighborhoods: Bringing Public Health and Redevelopment Together [PDF–1.28]

Shows how innovative public health departments work with redevelopment agencies to incorporate health-promoting strategies into the process of rebuilding low-income or "blighted" neighborhoods.

Philadelphia2035: Planning and Zoning a Healthier City [PDF–3.99MB]

Plan provides a blueprint to shape policies, development, and infrastructure that have profound impacts on health in order to create a built environment that supports healthy living.

PlaNYC: New York City Comprehensive Plan

Describes New York City's vision for the future and the need to prepare the city for 1 million more residents, strengthen the economy, combat climate change, and enhance quality of life.

Rural Active Living Assessment Tools

Set of tools to assess the physical activity environment in rural areas and help practitioners and community leaders create an active living environment.

San Jose: A Voice in the Process

Tells the story of a time when residents urged the local redevelopment agency to pay more attention to neighborhood safety.

School Siting Guidelines [PDF–2.45MB]

Guides school districts and local governments through the process of locating new schools that takes into account children's vulnerabilities to pollution, modes of transportation for students and staff, and efficient use of energy.

SmartCode Overlay Floating District [PDF–2.54MB]

Plan provides a framework for a built environment that supports a mix of land uses and a street network that will support walking and biking to destinations.

Watsonville Vista 2030: Land Use and Community Development [PDF–3.6MB]

Town general plan integrates health into its goals, including offering healthy food in corner stores, providing bus access to food, and working with local partners to promote physical activity and nutrition.

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Physical Activity Guidelines

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [PDF–8.35MB]

Provides science-based guidance to help Americans aged 6 and older improve their health through appropriate physical activity.

CDC's LEAN Works! A Workplace Obesity Prevention Program

Provides a Web-based, evidence-based resource to design effective work site obesity prevention and control programs, including a cost calculator to estimate how much obesity is costing the work site and how much savings could be reaped with different workplace interventions.

Chronic Disease: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Cardiovascular Health Module

Trains public health practitioners on the role of diet and physical activity in promoting cardiovascular health.

Chronic Disease: Physical Activity and Health Module

Introduces public health practitioners to the latest recommendations for physical activity and explores the scientific evidence of physical activity and certain chronic diseases.

Guidelines for After School Physical Activity and Intramural Sport Programs [PDF–139KB]

Offers recommendations for planning and implementing after-school physical activity and intramural programming for children in grades K–12.

Healthy Habits for Life Section 1

Provides child-care providers and advocates tools to teach children about eating right and being physical active, including lesson plans and ways to connect with families.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design—A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

Describes ways to improve conditions for walking and biking and obtain funding to implement projects.

Investing in Health: Proven Health Promotion Practices for Workplaces

Provides workplaces with tools to increase physical health of employees and other ways to increase health and productivity.

Let's Go! 5210 Goes After School Toolkit

Addresses a range of ways to help improve nutrition and increase physical activity for children.

Model Physical Activity Standards for Child Care Providers [PDF–617KB]

Provides a model policy for child care providers who want to increase the physical activity levels of the children in their care.

National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity [PDF–152KB]

Describes current, evidence-based, practical standards for healthy eating and physical activity that will foster positive outcomes for children in grades K–12.

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) [PDF–1.36MB]

Offers a self-assessment and planning guide to help school districts and schools conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of physical education curricula, using the national physical education standards.

School-Based Physical Education: Working with Schools to Increase Physical Activity Among Children and Adolescents in Physical Education Classes

Translates evidence-based recommendations into "how-to" guidance for implementing effective community-level health promotion strategies.

Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit [PDF–2.27MB]

Offers a comprehensive look at ways to engage the community and various stakeholders in improving youth physical activity levels.

Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Communities [PDF–1.22MB]

Provides a fact sheet and presentation for advocates who want to engage community-level involvement in improving levels of youth physical activity.

Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Families [PDF–2.29MB]

Provides a fact sheet and presentation for advocates who want to engage families' involvement in improving levels of youth physical activity.

Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Schools [PDF–1.77MB]

Provides a fact sheet and presentation for advocates who want to engage school district involvement in improving levels of youth physical activity.

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Public Health and Transportation

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options [PDF–6.10MB]

Presents the need for a more inclusive transportation policy to create a safer, cleaner, smarter transportation system that works for everyone.

At the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation [PDF–2.59MB]

Describes how land use and transportation systems and policies affect public health.

Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report

Reports on extensive data at the state and national level, safety, policies, grassroots advocacy, influences on pedestrian/bike rates, and public health impacts.

Bike Sharing in the United States [PDF–452KB]

Fact sheet briefly describes benefits of adopting a bike share program.

CDC Transportation Recommendations [PDF–94KB]

Resource provides recommendations for transportation policies in order to encourage healthy community design and promote safe and convenient opportunities for physical activity.

Creating Walkable and Bikeable Communities: A User Guide to Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans [PDF–21.65MB]

Guidebook helps communities strategically plan for bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

Dangerous by Design [PDF–1.61MB]

Makes the case for better design of transportation systems and recommends policy changes for the next federal transportation bill.

Getting Involved in Transportation Planning: An Overview for Public Health Advocates [PDF–1.78MB]

Resource briefly defines transportation planning, identifies key players, and offers strategies for public health practitioners to get involved in the process.

Healthy Community Webinar Series, Webinar 1: Planning and Implementing the Active Community

This webinar focuses on four organizations' efforts to prioritize active transportation, improve opportunities for pedestrian and bicycling activities, and support active living.

Pedestrians in the Rural Context [PDF–1.67MB]

Presentation that makes the case for changing transportation policies in rural areas and how they can positively affect the health of pedestrians.

Public Transportation: A Link to Better Health and Equity [PDF–1.14MB]

Fact sheet lists links between health and public transportation use and how improved access can benefit public health.

Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health [PDF–16.42MB]

Resource gives an introduction and orientation to as to why and how health should be considered in transportation planning and decision-making and the role that public health practitioners can play

The Road to Health Care Parity: Transportation Policy and Access to Health Care [PDF–322KB]

Makes the case for improved transportation systems as a way to decrease health disparities.

The Transportation Prescription

Analyzes the intersection of transportation, health, and policy and makes policy recommendations.

Transportation and Health [PDF–162KB]

Fact sheet on how walking, biking, and transit can contribute to positive health outcomes for residents.

Transportation and Health: Policy Interventions for Safer, Healthier People and Communities [PDF–1.36MB]

Resource examines the effects of transportation policies on public health, including effects on the environment, community design, and active transportation.

Transportation and Health Toolkit

Online toolkit for creating a relationship with transportation professionals includes a webinar, PowerPoint materials, outreach materials, and talking points.

Transportation Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Toolkit

Provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to conduct HIAs on proposed transportation projects, plans, and policies.

Walkability 101:The Walkability Workbook [PDF–7.76MB]

Workbook offers documents and slideshows that provide everything needed to organize community walkability workshops and conducting walkability audits.

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Health Impact Assessment

A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Toolkit

Introduces and defines HIA, describes each step of the HIA process, and discusses other aspects of HIA such as collaboration and when an HIA is appropriate.

Health Impact Assessment Data Sources and Related Resources [PDF–226KB]

Provides a broad array of data sources for initiating or conducting an HIA.

Health Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide [PDF–927KB]

Offers an overview of the purpose and key concepts of an HIA and describes the steps necessary to conduct one.

Health Impact Assessment: Bringing Public Health Data to Decision Making [PDF–542KB]

Briefly introduces HIAs and their benefits and application to health care practitioners.

Healthy Development Measurement Tool

Set of metrics that evaluates how land use plans, projects, or policies will advance human health.

How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans [PDF–2.1MB]

Provides a progression of steps focused on the general plan and details a wide range of strategies to help create and implement policy change.

Safe Routes to School Local Policy Guide [PDF–4.38MB]

Offers policies that will help all communities to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes related to increasing children's physical activity levels.

Using Health Impact Assessment: How HIA Made Billings, Mont., a Community that is Healthy by Design [PDF–107KB]

Summarizes the lessons learned when an HIA was used as a tool to communicate with stakeholders and advocate to decision makers.

Walk Friendly Communities Community Assessment Tool [PDF–1.39MB]

Provides a method for communities to evaluate their community and improve its walkability.

Walkability Checklist [PDF–206KB]

Partnership for a Walkable America, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), USDOT.

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