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National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

The Healthy Community Design Initiative, also known as the Built Environment and Health Initiative, is no longer a funded program and the information on this website is not being reviewed and updated on a regular basis.


The Importance of Community Design in Improving Public Health

National Prevention Strategy report cover

The recently released National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness report highlights how important healthy community design is to improving public health. The report, released in June 2011, was authorized by the Affordable Care Act to help move the U.S. health care system’s focus from sickness and disease to prevention and wellness.

The National Prevention Strategy report has two key directions that relate directly to healthy community design: Building Healthy and Safe Community Environments and Empowering People to Make Healthy Choices. The report also includes four priorities that healthy community design can help to achieve:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Active Living
  • Injury and Violence-Free Living
  • Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Page 10 of the National Prevention Strategy report highlights an example of healthy community design: the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s success in incorporating health considerations into the city’s 25-year regional transportation plan.

The report is available at