The Case for Public Health in Regional Planning

A recent report by the National Association of Regional Councils discusses how Metropolitan Planning Orginizations (MPO’s) have been successfully incorporating Public Health metrics into regional planning.  The report notes that by developing and incorporating metrics that support active transportation and reduce harmful emissions funding can be prioritized to support such goals.  To do this MPOs have:

  • Created development standards that supported active transportation
  • Designated physical health as a performance factor in project development
  • Directed funding into programs that reduce exposure to harmful vehicle emissions
  • Developed metrics for Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs)
  • Created Active Transportation Committees at MPOs
  • Included metrics that measure access to healthy food
  • Increased funding by dedicating a percentage of Surface Transportation Funding to active transportation beyond the traditional Transportation Enhancements funding.

As we move forward with the implementation of SCAG’s 2012 RTP, we look forward to utilizing many of these strategies to ensure that our transportation system is transformed to improve the health and well being of our residents here in Southern California.

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