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July 23, 2015 6:00 AMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

An Emerging Planner’s Perspective on HIAs: Part Two


The American Planning Association defines planning as: Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.

Health Impact Assessments are one tool that can be used to “integrate health into the decision-making process and enhance communication between multiple stakeholders, including health and planning practitioners and policymakers.” HIAs examine the health impacts of programs and proposed policies and projects using a systematic six-step framework to promote health equity. Recently, a post was published about the impacts of HIAs in the planning field and how they allow for cross-sector collaborations.

For further information on Impact Assessments, visit Human Impact Partners’ site on Health Impact Assessments. To get you started, here’s a neat two-page HIA-Fact-Sheet! The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and APA collaborated to produce a free Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments course, where you can learn how to administer HIAs and use as a future resource. NACCHO also has an extensive toolbox of health materials and projects.

The Plan4Health community held a webinar on Health Impact Assessments July 20. The session featured work from the American Planning Association’s partnership with The Pew Charitable Trust’s Health Impact Project as well as examples of HIAs conducted in community settings.

Participants learned about the state of HIAs in planning engaged with members from three Plan4Health coalitions: Health by Design in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Inner Core Community Health Improvement Coalition in Metro Boston; and the Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Board in Columbus, Ohio.

Image: Photo by Pixabay user Darko Stojanovic.