Planning for Healthy Communities

Creating Healthy CommunitiesImage courtesy of Columbus, Ohio Department of Public Health

Creating Healthy Communities
Image courtesy of Columbus, Ohio Department of Public Health

Planning for healthy communities is becoming increasingly important to transportation planning. Those wanting to get ahead of this curve should consult the US Department of Transportation’s Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities report. The document identifies flexible ways in which MPO’s and their partners can utilize community health information in the transportation planning process. Using information gathered from a detailed analysis of four case studies, the report examines and identifies common best practices within the current planning system and proposes a framework for communities to use to integrate health into metropolitan area transportation planning.

There is great need for this type of research and incredible opportunities to use the knowledge gained to plan all communities in a more comprehensive, sensible, and healthy fashion. MPO’s and their partners should look to incorporate these best practices into their plans, monitor and analyze if and how they have been successful in these settings, and share their successes and failures with other MPO’s to gain a greater framework on planning healthy communities.

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