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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000316483.65135.a1
Commentary

Influencing Design, Promoting Health

Bassett, Ellen M. PhD; Glandon, Robert Paul PhD

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Abstract

This article provides details of the goals and accomplishments of the Land Use and Health Resource Team composed of public health officials, planners, researchers, extension agents, advocacy organizations, and the development community. The team seeks to understand local land use and health relationships, increase community engagement, and facilitate positive change in policies and the built environment. The team's action plan is (1) research local land use and health relationships; (2) undertake public education and community mobilization; (3) identify interventions, seek funding, and pilot tools to integrate health and planning; and (4) monitor outcomes. In 2005, the team produced a report presenting a picture of local conditions related to health and the built environment. Findings were unveiled at a stakeholder conference, and local best practices and future actions were discussed. A geographic information system–based health impacts tool for use by planners in site plan review was developed. Funding was obtained to facilitate neighborhood organizations to complete self-assessments and develop interventions related to community environments, physical activity, and healthy eating. The team achieved initial goals of creating partnerships and spurring awareness. Future activities include wider field testing of the health impacts tool, participation in a health-oriented master planning process, and monitoring change in health risk behaviors related to changes in the built environment.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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