May 1, 2017 3:22 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

May is American Stroke Month

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APA is observing American Stroke Month with our Plan4Health partner the American Heart Association. Annually, stroke causes 133,000 deaths, but 80% of all strokes are preventable. In addition, stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. People have the power to prevent stroke by controlling high blood pressure and taking steps to live a healthier […]

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April 28, 2017 1:57 PMCategory: Health Equity

Creating Healthier and Smarter Cities: Connecting Cities and Healthcare through Patient Engagement

health equity wide

This article was published in APA’s Technology Division newsletter. We present a novel collaborative strategy for rethinking citizen engagement at the intersection of planning and healthcare. Citizen engagement has been always challenging for planning organizations due to various considerations, including the organizations’ limited resources or the citizens’ lack of interest in participation. This challenge still […]

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April 25, 2017 2:16 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Plan4Health Coalition Featured in Baltimore Sun

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The Plan4Health project in Baltimore, Maryland was recently featured in The Baltimore Sun. The article highlighted the coalition’s effort to connect 35 miles of trails that would run through 50 Baltimore neighborhoods. Read the article here!  

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April 11, 2017 4:29 PMCategory: Health Equity

GREEN STREETS: A Health Impact Assessment of the Lawrence Green Streets Program

health equity wide

This post was originally posted here. In recognition of National Public Health Week (April 3-9, 2017) and in the spirit of APA’s Plan4Health Project, the APA-MA Chapter and SCD Division of APA just released a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment on the Benefits of Streets Trees in the built environment. The physical environment in which we […]

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April 6, 2017 1:19 PMCategory: Health Equity

What We Measure Matters for Healthy Communities

health equity wide

This was originally posted here on APA’s blog. In creating healthy communities, what we measure matters. The data we use, metrics we measure with, and methodologies we employ are key components in the effort to build healthy, vibrant communities. On March 8, planners and public health professionals came together to discuss the importance of measurement […]

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March 16, 2017 9:00 AMCategory: Health Equity

Infinite Earth Radio Podcast features Plan4Health

health equity wide

  Plan4Health was recently featured on the Infinite Earth Radio podcast- listen to the episode here! The Infinite Earth Radio podcast is a weekly podcast produced by Skeo in association with the Local Government Commission. Infinite Earth Radio is committed to spreading ideas that lift up and revitalize marginalized neighborhoods and build great 21st century […]

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March 14, 2017 11:51 AMCategory: Health Equity

Planners4Health Session Two: What We Measure Matters: Metrics, Data, Sources, and Methodologies

health equity wide

On Wednesday, March 8th, planners and public health professionals participated in the second webinar in the Planners4Health Curriculum series. The session focused on the importance of measurement in building healthy communities. The panelists, from Prevention Institute, Georgia Tech School of City & Regional Planning, and Health by Design, brought a range of perspectives and expertise. They discussed data sources traditionally used in the […]

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March 6, 2017 6:57 PMCategory: Physical Activity

The PBIC Messenger

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News and Announcements Fostering Innovation in Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Pooled Fund Study The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) posted a new Fostering Innovation in Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Pooled Fund Study in January 2017. The pooled fund will supplement existing research venues and fill an important gap by emphasizing short turnaround practical research on issues […]

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March 6, 2017 6:53 PMCategory: Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month

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Plan4Health is celebrating National Nutrition Month® by promoting the many benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet. National Nutrition Month® highlights the importance of nutritious food options in keeping communities strong and healthy. Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. There are many low-cost or no-cost alternatives – choose whole-grain bread instead of […]

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February 28, 2017 2:42 PMCategory: Health Equity

APA Colorado features Plan4Health

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  An article in the APA Colorado Chapter’s publication, Planning Matters, focused on health and the environment. The issue opens with a piece about the Health Communities Coalition, the Plan4Health coalition in Eagle County, CO. The coalitions has been examining the impacts of healthy eating and active living (HEAL) policies on a county-wide scale. Findings from […]

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February 23, 2017 2:33 PMCategory: Health Equity

Plan4Health: Community Engagement for a Healthy, Active Austin

health equity wide

SUMMARY: Plan4Health connects communities across the country, funding work at the intersection of planning and public health. Anchored by the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Public Health Association (APHA), Plan4Health supports creative partnerships to build sustainable, cross-sector coalitions. The Plan4Health Pilot Program, launched by the City of Austin, seeks to increase physical activity […]

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February 21, 2017 1:48 PMCategory: Health Equity

AHA Cardiovascular Disease Report

health equity wide

Last week, the American Heart Association released a report about the future of cardiovascular disease. “Cardiovascular Disease: A Costly Burden for America” makes prevalence and cost projections for cardiovascular disease through 2035. It shows that nearly half of the US population will suffer from cardiovascular disease by 2035 with costs projected to exceed $1 trillion. […]

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February 17, 2017 3:52 PMCategory: Physical Activity

CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity:  Physical Activity Highlights

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Map Series, Complete Streets Policies — 2006 to 2015 Click here to view the maps — Complete Streets Policies in the United States, 2006—2015 This series of maps displays the progression in the adoption of state-level and local- or regional-level Complete Streets policies in the United States from 2006 through 2015. Source:  National Complete Streets […]

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February 13, 2017 2:01 PMCategory: Health Equity

Planners4Health Session One: Assessing the Healthy Communities Landscape

health equity wide

On Wednesday, February 8th, close to 300 people participated in the first webinar in the Planners4Health Curriculum series. The session focused on the healthy communities movement, including approaches to evaluating the political, social, and economic landscape of the healthy communities movement. The panelists, from Prevention Institute, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, and the […]

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February 8, 2017 1:18 PMCategory: Health Equity, Nutrition, Physical Activity

February is American Heart Month

health equity wide

Did you know that about 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases? That’s about one every 40 seconds. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. February is American Heart Month, and is an excellent time to educate communities that cardiovascular disease can often be prevented by making healthy choices and […]

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February 1, 2017 10:36 AMCategory: Health Equity

January Health News

health equity wide

  Each month we’ll highlight a few news stories from around the nation related to nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease. Please see below for select stories from January:     January 3: Gun violence should be treated as a public health crisis, study says January 4: APHA to Congress: We oppose repeal of Affordable […]

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January 25, 2017 6:07 PMCategory: Health Equity

APA News Release: Building Local Capacity to Connect Planning and Public Health

health equity wide

See original news release on the APA website. The American Planning Association (APA) is providing $1.5 million in funding to 28 of its chapters through the Planners4Health initiative to continue to create stronger, healthier communities. The initiative will focus on greater coordination between planners and public health professionals at the state level. The six-month initiative […]

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January 19, 2017 1:33 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Walk 1 Billion Steps by National Public Health Week

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Start the New Year off by walking the talk and giving yourself the gift of improved health. Help us walk 1 billion steps by National Public Health Week from Jan. 9 – April 9, or any time in between! It’s not too late to start! Regular physical activity like walking can greatly reduce the risk of conditions such […]

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January 17, 2017 4:29 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Dangerous by Design

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Smart Growth America announces Dangerous by Design 2016: Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 people were struck and killed by cars while walking. That averages out to about 13 people per day. Each one of those people was a child, parent, friend, classmate, or neighbor. And these tragedies occurred across the country—in small towns […]

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January 12, 2017 2:35 PMCategory: Health Equity

When Planning Meets Health: Delaware’s Plan4Health Grant Fosters a Healthy Delaware

health equity wide

The December 2016 issue of the Delaware Journal of Public Health includes a special feature about the Delaware Plan4Health project – When Planning Meets Health: Delaware’s Plan4Health Grant Fosters a Healthy Delaware. How do we integrate health in land use and community planning? The Delaware Plan4Health coalition seeks to answer this question by creating a […]

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January 10, 2017 3:15 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

New Plan4Health Podcasts

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Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living: The Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living is working to include health and equity elements when updating comprehensive plans within the state. This podcast features an interview with David Edgell, AICP, Project Lead for Plan4Health for the Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association, and […]

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January 5, 2017 2:52 PMCategory: Health Equity, Physical Activity

Vitamin P: Tapping the Power of Place to Keep Us All Healthy

health equity wide

The American Planning Association was featured in the article Vitamin P: Tapping the Power of Place to Keep Us All Healthy by Jay Walljasper. See below for an excerpt from the article, and read the entire piece here. — Walking is such a great way to stay healthy that US Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy […]

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January 3, 2017 2:00 PMCategory: Health Equity

December Health News

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  Each month we’ll highlight a few news stories from around the nation related to nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease. Please see below for select stories from December: December 5th: Michael Bloomberg may be Big Tobacco’s biggest enemy December 6th: Signed Out Of Prison But Not Signed Up For Health Insurance December 7th: Passage […]

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December 27, 2016 9:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

Bike Ajo

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Bike Ajo has created a sustainable bicycling hub that educates, trains, provides resources, and builds health-based partnerships with the Ajo community. The primary health focus of Bike Ajo is to connect bicycling with diabetes and chronic disease prevention efforts. The asset-based coalition is led by community health workers and Ajo residents and includes many partners. Interested […]

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December 22, 2016 9:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

NRPA Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework

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The National Recreation and Park Association recently released a tool that will assist professionals across many disciplines create and implement an action plan to ensure that all people have safe and equitable access to parks. Safe Routes to Parks is an initiative of NRPA to increase access to local parks. Developed in collaboration with the Safe Routes […]

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December 20, 2016 5:11 PMCategory: Physical Activity

The Benefits of Complete Streets

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  This piece was originally distributed as a news release by the Department of Health & Wellness in Atlanta, GA. ATLANTA – December 14, 2016 – As the movement to invest in infrastructure improvements across Fulton County gains fresh momentum following passage of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation Purposes (TSPLOST) ballot measure […]

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December 15, 2016 9:00 AMCategory: Health Equity, Nutrition

Tarrant County, TX Ramey Market Mural Unveiling

health equity wide

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, we unveiled a beautiful new mural that has been painted on the east wall of Ramey Market, in the Stop Six neighborhood. The mural was designed and painted by the senior art students at Dunbar High School. The students developed four designs which were blended to create a mural celebrating […]

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December 13, 2016 2:28 PMCategory: Nutrition

APHA Diabetes Storify

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Approximately 10 percent of people in the U.S. have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 don’t know it. When diabetes goes undiagnosed, it can cause other serious health problems. Diabetes is a chronic disease caused when the body cannot produce or use insulin efficiently, making it harder to maintain appropriate glucose levels in the blood […]

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December 8, 2016 3:48 PMCategory: Physical Activity

PBCI Quarterly Newsletter

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Interested in learning more about the latest in pedestrian and bicycle news? Check out the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center’s Fall 2016 e-newsletter. It is full of news stories, policy, systems, and environmental change resources, and information about upcoming events. Read the full issue here!

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December 6, 2016 2:27 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Healthy Eating & Active Living for the Holidays

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Plan4Health’s partners are observing healthy eating and active living for the holiday season. Interested in learning more? Visit this resource to find out about ways you can be involved.

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November 29, 2016 2:08 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Healthline Feature on Urban Planning for Health

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Earlier this month, Healthline shared an article about the role urban planning plays in creating healthier communities. The piece touches upon the historical context of planning for health, includes commentary from individuals benefiting from healthy planning, and highlights the work of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center and Plan4Health. Read the full article here.

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November 17, 2016 2:21 PMCategory: Nutrition

Civic Engagement in Planning Can Improve Public Health

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In Tarrant County, Texas, residents have been asked to participate in the planning process as a mechanism for engaging with their communities. Tarrant County is home to a Plan4Health project focused on increasing access to healthy food and engaging with residents is an important component of this work. Faced with neighborhoods with high prevalence of […]

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November 10, 2016 2:18 PMCategory: Health Equity, Physical Activity

Healthy Communities Coalition receives award from Montana Public Health

health equity wide

The Healthy Communities Coalition won an award from the Montana Public Health Association for the multifaceted local group’s dedicated work to reducing chronic disease and improving health in the Helena area. The Coalition received the highest award from the Montana Public Health Association for its ongoing contributions to improving public health statewide. Here, some of the members […]

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November 3, 2016 1:32 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Benton Park West utilizes traffic calming lending library

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This post was originally shared here on October 11, 2016 on Trailnet’s website. Trailnet has created a traffic calming lending library. That means anyone can rent out equipment for creating pop-up traffic calming demonstrations to show the community what it looks like when streets are designed to slow traffic. On October 2, the Benton Park Neighborhood […]

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October 20, 2016 1:48 PMCategory: Health Equity

#PlanningMonth

health equity wide

Throughout the month of October, Plan4Health is celebrating National Community Planning Month as part of APA’s effort to bring planning to the forefront of conversations about creating healthy, vibrant communities. Visit APA’s website to learn more about the observance and check out the pieces on the APA blog for stories about civic engagement in planning. Share your community’s […]

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October 13, 2016 1:24 PMCategory: Health Equity, Physical Activity

Slow Your Street: A St. Louis Traffic Calming Success Story

health equity wide

This post, written by Samantha Schipani, was originally featured here on the APA blog.  It may not be obvious to everyone that traffic safety is a public health and urban planning issue. But the number of motor-vehicle-related deaths is increasing, and the U.S. continues to have the most traffic fatalities per capita in the developed world. […]

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October 6, 2016 1:25 PMCategory: Health Equity

October is National Community Planning Month

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National Community Planning Month kicked off in grand style this week with the announcement of APA’s 2016 Great Places in America. Everyone is talking about planning and its role in creating healthy, strong, inclusive communities that work for all community members. APA hopes members will continue the momentum all month long and invites you to amplify the […]

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October 5, 2016 2:02 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Walk and Bike to School Day

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Today is the 20th anniversary of National Walk and Bike to School Day and this morning thousands of students, parents, and community leaders across the country used active transportation to travel to school. Interested in learning more about the Walk to School Day? Leverage this communications packet all about this national observance and be sure […]

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September 29, 2016 2:20 PMCategory: Nutrition

Food Frontiers – A Documentary

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Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future for a special screening of the short film, Food Frontiers, which highlights successful projects around the country that are addressing access to healthy food. Hear from guest speakers Rodney Taylor, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Fairfax County Public Schools and Dr. Nimali Fernando, Pediatrician and Founder of The Doctor Yum Project who […]

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September 22, 2016 2:45 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Healthy Streets with ChangeLab Solutions

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Ever wonder how street design can improve health? Curious how transportation systems can make places not only more connected but also more equitable? Street design can, and should, make it safer and easier for people in every neighborhood to get around, whether they’re biking, walking, taking transit, or driving. With CDC support, ChangeLab Solutions has […]

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September 15, 2016 6:55 PMCategory: Health Equity, Nutrition, Physical Activity

Resource Roundup

health equity wide

Here are a few resources with tools and tips on building healthy communities. Check out the full list of partner resources on the Plan4Health website. Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide: This resource guide is a compilation of tools, frameworks, and processes that outline a systems approach to social issues. The guide can be used by social sector […]

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September 8, 2016 1:19 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Plan4Health featured in The Nation’s Health

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Last week, Plan4Health was featured in the American Public Health Association’s The Nation’s Health. The piece discusses how the regional community coalitions are marrying public health and planning, and focuses on the work in Boston, MA and Indianapolis, IN. “Many new partnerships and expanded initiatives were developed to improve the health of each community involved and […]

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August 25, 2016 2:06 PMCategory: Physical Activity

The 4 Ways Urban Parks Bring Value to City Life

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This post was originally featured here on the APA blog. Urban parks are dynamic institutions that play a vital role in the social, economic and physical well-being of America’s cities and their residents. Since the mid-19th century, with the introduction of large-scale park landscapes in cities like New York, Boston, Louisville, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., […]

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August 24, 2016 3:33 PMCategory: Health Equity, Nutrition, Physical Activity

Planners4Health – funding for APA Chapters

health equity wide

  APA will use third-year funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Planners4Health — an offshoot of the Plan4Health project that will concentrate on education, capacity building, and planning for healthy communities within APA chapters. All 47 APA chapters are eligible to apply for grants (to average $40,000) for projects to take place in early 2017. […]

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August 18, 2016 1:33 PMCategory: Nutrition

New Resources for Local Food Systems Planning

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Food systems planning is becoming an increasingly important topic in our communities. Food is a basic need that many take for granted, yet growing a robust local food system can strengthen communities by improving quality of life and helping to meet a variety of environmental, economic, and social goals. Food systems policies and programs can address […]

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August 11, 2016 3:00 PMCategory: Nutrition

Jackson County Farmers’ Market Named 3rd Best in Midwest

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The Jackson County Healthy Communities Coalition is proud to announce that the farmers’ market in Carbondale was named the third best farmers’ market in the midwest in a AAA summer travel guide. The Jackson County coalition created this resource that provides additional information about when and where to find the local markets: This week is […]

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August 4, 2016 1:45 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Rapid Health Impact Assessments in Massachusetts

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This post was written by Karen Adelman and originally featured on Planning 101: Talking smart growth for 101 communities in Greater Boston. MAPC’s Public Health Department has been conducting Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) for the past five years. Working with partners like the MA Department of Public Health and Health Resources in Action, MAPC has […]

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August 3, 2016 1:40 PMCategory: Health Equity

Why did a public health guy go to a green charrette?

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This post was originally featured on the Build Healthy Places Network blog – see it here. July 14, 2016 | Daniel Lau, Manager of Strategic Engagement As a public health guy working towards health equity, my career has been a continuous journey of peeling back layers to identify the root causes of disparate health outcomes. […]

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July 28, 2016 3:52 PMCategory: Physical Activity

No Playing Around: Parks Are Great For Health

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  July has been all about celebrating parks and spending time outdoors. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) knows that parks can improve health and wellness while strengthening community bonds. NRPA gives us National Park and Recreation Month as an opportunity to explore the built environment that surrounds us. Check out this storify developed […]

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June 30, 2016 1:25 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Get Ready for National Park and Recreation Month!

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Did you know that tomorrow, July 1st, is the first day of National Park and Recreation Month? APA is joining forces with partner organizations to celebrate the many health benefits of outdoor parks and recreation activities. National Park and Recreation Month highlights the important role local parks and recreation activities play in keeping our communities […]

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June 13, 2016 1:56 PMCategory: Physical Activity

National Healthy Homes Month

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June 2016 marks the first National Healthy Homes Month, an observance declared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). National Healthy Homes Month is meant to reinforce the connection between a family’s health their home by educating families about potential health hazards in their homes and empowering them to address these hazards. […]

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June 9, 2016 2:20 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Community-Engaged Design

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A recent piece from Next City highlights the importance of community-engaged design in equitable development. Houston’s Third Ward, similarly to many communities across the country, is undergoing a shift in its DNA. What was a traditionally African American community made up of modest single-family homes has become a hot spot for developers due to a new light […]

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June 8, 2016 1:49 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Triple Aim of Health Equity

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This post was originally shared on APA’s blog here.   “What would it look like if equity was the starting point for decision making?” —Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Asking the right questions is the first step to taking action for meaningful […]

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June 2, 2016 1:40 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Health Equity and Planning

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Plan4Health coalitions incorporate equity into many aspects of their work to increase opportunities for active living and access to healthy foods. See below for a list of some of the Plan4Health content and partner resources that focus on equity and can help communities understand the challenges and develop solutions. Plan4Health blog posts A Refresher on […]

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May 31, 2016 1:13 PMCategory: Physical Activity

World No Tobacco Day

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Today is World No Tobacco Day. The World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987; it is observed around the world every year on May 31. World No Tobacco Day is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco use, and to spread awareness of the negative health […]

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May 26, 2016 8:16 PMCategory: Physical Activity

St. Louis Plan4Health Spreads to Chicago

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  Trailnet, the St. Louis Plan4Health coalition, was selected to provide active transportation input and guidance on a project in Chicago. The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit organization working to improve conditions for bicycling, walking and transit in the Chicago region. Trailnet will be taking the traffic calming model they developed through Plan4Health and spreading […]

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May 23, 2016 12:58 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Indianapolis’ First Master Pedestrian Plan Moves Indy Forward

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  Earlier this month, on May 4th, the Metropolitan Development Commission in Indianapolis voted to adopt the pedestrian plan that was at the center of the work pursued by the Indianapolis Plan4Health coalition, Health by Design. The pedestrian plan provides a guideline for county leaders to follow as they make decisions that improve walkability.   […]

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May 20, 2016 3:28 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Cohort II Spotlight: Ajo, Arizona

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The Plan4Health coalition in Ajo, Arizona, is working hard not only to make bicycling an option for transportation, physical activity, and leisure, but also to reinvigorate a sense of active living through the community’s deep connection to their surroundings. Ajo is an outpost in the southwestern part of Arizona — only about 40 miles from […]

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May 17, 2016 1:29 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Infrastructure Week is May 16-23

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  Infrastructure Week is May 16 – 23 and is an opportunity to recognize the important role of infrastructure in the economy, the health and safety of the public, and the strength of communities across the country. The theme this year is “Infrastructure Matters”, telling the story of what infrastructure means to Americans. Although Infrastructure […]

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May 12, 2016 1:16 PMCategory: Physical Activity

May is National Bike Month

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  May 4th was National Bike to School Day, but it is not too late to celebrate the power of bicycles and their place in our communities – May is National Bike Month! The League of American Bicyclists has sponsored this observance since 1956 and showcases the many benefits of bicycling while encouraging people to try it out. Learn […]

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May 4, 2016 10:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

National Bike to School Day

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Did you know that today, May 4, is National Bike to School Day? Join schools across the country as they celebrate and take steps towards changing community culture. Five reasons to support walking and biking to school are: To have fun! Biking to school creates healthier habits Active transportation helps clean up the environment To […]

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May 3, 2016 4:50 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Reports from the Healthy Communities Research Community

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Active Living: A new report from the International Physical Activity and Environment Network (IPEN) Adult Study was released online by the Lancet on April 1, 2016 and highlights that adults from 10 countries who lived in the most “active-friendly” neighborhoods did up to 90 minutes more physical activity than those who lived in the least “active-friendly” neighborhoods. […]

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April 26, 2016 12:46 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Great Places

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APA’s Great Places in America program celebrates places with cultural and historic interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow. Did you know that there are many Plan4Health coalitions located in communities with Great Places designations? The list is long — Kingston, New York; Chatham County, Georgia; City of Dover/Kent County, Delaware; Sacramento County, California, […]

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April 22, 2016 8:00 AMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Cohort II Spotlight: Eagle County, Colorado

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This post was written by Katie Haas and Kris Valdez. The Healthy Communities Coalition of Eagle County, Colorado, is a Plan4Health coalition with Cohort Two. Over the course of the project, the coalition will pilot a program encouraging community members to play an active role in supporting healthy eating and active living programs and policies. Eagle County […]

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April 21, 2016 6:53 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Free Admission to National Parks!

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Content originally featured in an email from the U.S. Department of the Interior. America’s national parks, monuments, and lands are uniquely different — in their make-up and their locale — but all seek to tell a part of America’s story. National Park Week kicked off on Saturday, April 16, as one of the nation’s largest […]

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April 21, 2016 2:38 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Safe Routes to School National Conference

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The Safe Routes to School National Conference was held April 5–7 in Columbus, Ohio. The conference, Intersections: Where Transportation and Health Meet, explored programs across the country that are pioneering safe routes to school for children to create healthy, vibrant communities. The conference featured both Plan4Health coalitions and organizational partners in this work, including the […]

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April 18, 2016 1:55 PMCategory: Physical Activity

An Active Transportation Plan and Complete Streets Policy in Bensenville, Illinois

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In Bensenville, Illinois, a suburb about 17 miles outside of Chicago, a coalition of planning and public health professionals leveraged the Plan4Health grant funds to implement an Active Transportation Plan and Complete Streets policy. Members of the coalition had been working for years to incorporate an active transportation component into the village’s comprehensive plan — […]

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April 13, 2016 8:04 AMCategory: Nutrition

At the Intersection of Planning and Public Health: Kane County, Illinois

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The Kane County Planning Cooperative received a 2016 National Planning Achievement Award for A Best Practice for its work to implement the Kane County 2040 Plan “Healthy People, Healthy Living, Healthy Communities.” Kane County is also one of the Plan4Health coalitions working to improve access to healthy food in the community. Kane County Plan4Health coalition members hosted a Sunday National Planning Conference sessioon […]

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April 8, 2016 2:35 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

APA 2016 Conference in Phoenix: Healthy Communities Interest Group Meet-Up

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“Success looks like an EKG monitor.” –          Healthy Communities Interest Group Participant Cross-sector work at the intersection of the built environment and public health has its ups and downs, as one participant astutely reflected. At this year’s National Planning Conference in Phoenix, planners and other practitioners creating healthy communities gathered for the 2016 Healthy Communities Interest Group […]

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April 4, 2016 6:02 PMCategory: Physical Activity

RWJF Opens Streets to Build a Culture of Health

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This post was written by Sharon Roerty, a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and originally posted on Move!, the Active Living Research blog. Sharon spoke to Plan4Health coalitions and APA Healthy Community Interest Group members at APA’s National Planning Conference in Phoenix on Sunday, April 3rd. Learn more about how opening up […]

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April 1, 2016 4:00 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Greater With WIC

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  This week, the National WIC Association launched a new website featuring their Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children (CPHMC) project – a sister project to Plan4Health. In addition to working with community organizations to increase opportunities for physical activity and expand access to nutritious foods, the  CPHMC project also focuses on increasing access to […]

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March 31, 2016 11:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

Public Outreach for Active Living in Columbus, IN

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This post was written by Emilie Pinkston, Senior Planner with the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department. A key element of the Plan4Health project in Columbus, IN is public outreach.  It is vitally important to the success of planning projects that members of the community have the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed improvements.  Members […]

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March 29, 2016 1:22 PMCategory: Nutrition

Springtime Bloom: Community Gardens and Farmers Markets

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With April around the corner, community gardens and farmers markets are gearing up for another season! Community Gardens      There are many Plan4Health groups working to improve access to healthy food through community gardens. The coalition in Summit County, Ohio focused their Plan4Health efforts on expanding the use of garden space and combating food deserts through the […]

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March 25, 2016 3:21 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Get Outside and Celebrate Spring!

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      It’s time to get ready for spring! Did you know that in 600 seconds, you can trigger the health benefits of being outdoors? According to recent research, spending ten minutes outdoors, two to three times a week, can reduce stress, increase focus, and improve energy levels. Spend this season exploring walkways, parks, […]

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March 18, 2016 1:48 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Shared Use of Community Resources

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Shared use is a strategy that leverages existing community areas for use as recreation spaces for the whole community. By allowing the broader public to have access to resources such as schoolyards, the entire community has increased opportunities for physical activity. Community Commons discusses the potential of shared use in Fair Play: Advancing Health Equity Through Shared […]

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March 17, 2016 2:15 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

What’s Your Great Place?

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It’s almost that time of year again — time to think about the neighborhoods, public spaces, and streets that have added value to your community. APA’s Great Places in America program celebrates places with cultural and historic interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow. Submit your suggestions for this year’s Great Places in America by […]

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March 11, 2016 2:36 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Community Context for Planning and Public Health

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In the United States, the intersection of public health and planning has ebbed and flowed depending on the issues of the time and the perception of community health. Recently, the two fields have experienced increasing crossover due to concerted collaborative efforts and a general move towards thinking about health in a broader sense. An article […]

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March 4, 2016 7:00 AMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Improve Your Community’s Health with Help from Experts at the 2016 APA Conference

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Lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, and tobacco use are major contributing factors to the chronic disease crisis the U.S. faces. Want to learn more about how planning can help solve these problems? Join APA in Phoenix for the 2016 National Planning Conference and attend the Partnering4Health: Improving Community Health Discussion session. This session outlines the […]

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March 3, 2016 7:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

Tactical Urbanism

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Tactical urbanism is a mechanism for changing the built environment in a fluid and meaningful way. Creative approaches to uplifting and recycling existing resources can result in more engaged community members and a different lens through which to view existing common spaces. Tactical urbanism also provides an alternative to barriers such as cost or political […]

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March 1, 2016 6:48 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

PSE Changes in Rural Communities

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Addressing lack of access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in rural communities is accompanied by unique challenges and opportunities. Strategies that may work well in more urban areas sometimes fall flat when attempted in a rural setting, underscoring the importance of empathy when designing initiatives – there must be authentic community involvement […]

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February 26, 2016 9:00 AMCategory: Nutrition

Food Systems for Healthy Places

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The content in this post comes from the Georgia Tech Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse “Food Systems for Healthy Places” blog post by Alfonso Morales, PhD. The built environment, food systems, and health are intricately connected in today’s world. Read below for an overview of three projects seeking to improve food systems on a variety […]

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February 22, 2016 12:00 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Plan4Health Touches Down in Phoenix

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This post was originally published on APA’s National Planning Conference News Blog on February 19, 2016.   Interested in learning more about the intersection of planning and public health? Join APA in Phoenix for the 2016 National Planning Conference and attend one of the sessions highlighting Plan4Health. Explore the Saturday Deep Dive workshop or check out […]

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February 18, 2016 3:35 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

Next City: Planning and Public Health

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A recent article in Next City highlights the growing effort to reconnect public health and urban planning. Anna Ricklin, manager of the American Planning Association’s Planning and Community Health Center, discusses Plan4Health as an example of the effort to break down silos between planning and public health, and also highlights the work in Dubuque, Iowa, to […]

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February 17, 2016 3:36 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Columbus, Indiana: Walking Toward Greatness

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APA’s Plan4Health project, an effort funded by the CDC, supports communities working at the intersection of planning and public health to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for active living. The Columbus, Indiana, coalition — Reach Healthy Communities — is pursuing strategies to increase walkability throughout the community. The coalition engaged the Walkable and […]

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February 16, 2016 9:00 AMCategory: Physical Activity

Walk This Way

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WALKSacramento and the Design 4 Active Sacramento Coalition are working on multiple fronts to improve walkability and health across South Sacramento neighborhoods. The Plan4Health coalition’s efforts are enhanced and complemented by the California Endowment’s work to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state of California through their Building Healthy Communities initiative. Collaborating […]

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February 11, 2016 12:49 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Active Living in Wisconsin

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In 2014, the rate of physical inactivity in Dane County, Wisconsin was 18 percent and the adult obesity rate was 22 percent; six percent of the population had diabetes. Analysis from the University of Wisconsin showed that block groups that were more walkable and closer to public transportation also had lower rates of chronic disease. […]

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February 4, 2016 6:17 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

APA and APHA Joint Board Meeting in Iowa

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In an effort to heighten the existing collaboration between planning and public health professionals in Iowa, the Plan4Health initiative in Linn County, Iowa — Planning Healthy Iowa Communities — convened a joint board meeting with the Iowa Public Health Association and the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter board members in November. The groups met separately before joining together in Des […]

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February 2, 2016 10:15 AMCategory: Physical Activity

Advancing Safe Routes to Parks

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                  Green spaces benefit people’s health and well-being, but they must be accessible in order for such positive impacts to come to fruition. The concept of Safe Routes to Parks considers the infrastructure required for a safe, connected system between parks, their access points, and their surrounding […]

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February 1, 2016 10:00 AMCategory: Nutrition

Walkability and Local Food Production in Atlanta

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The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is championing efforts to link planning and public health by developing pedestrian-friendly streets and supporting local food production to improve connectivity and quality of life for people of all ages. In this mini-webinar, Manager Dan Reuter and Principal Planner Allison Duncan of the Community Development division of the ARC speak about […]

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January 28, 2016 9:31 PMCategory: Physical Activity

APA’s Community Planning Assistance Teams

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  The American Planning Association’s professional institute — the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) — engages community members through the Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) program. CPAT is a pro bono technical assistance program designed to engage residents, key stakeholders, and local officials to address a range of challenges that communities face. The program is […]

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January 21, 2016 10:50 PMCategory: Physical Activity

A Vision for “Complete Parks” in Kingston

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This entry was written by Live Well Kingston and was originally posted here. Steve Noble, our outgoing Play Well Chair and Environmental Specialist for the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and incoming Mayor, provides us with a vision and a roadmap for a great parks system in Kingston. Our Live Well Kingston Coalition looks forward to using […]

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January 20, 2016 8:54 PMCategory: Physical Activity

National Association of Realtors Highlights Walkable Communities

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The Winter 2016 issue of On Common Ground, published by the National Association of Realtors, is all about designing healthy communities. The first article, “Walkable Communities: The prescription for better health,” features Plan4Health as one example of efforts to change the built environment to enable walkability. Plan4Health and its collaboration between APA and APHA combats […]

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January 19, 2016 6:23 PMCategory: Physical Activity

A Campaign to Get Indy Residents Walking

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By Health by Design WalkWays is working to “move Indy forward” as a city that’s accessible to pedestrians and those who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. For people in other cities, this might look like an easy job. After all, Indianapolis has earned its share of attention for walkability and access, with options like […]

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January 14, 2016 6:10 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Adopting a Complete Streets Policy: Lessons Learned from Swanzey

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This entry is adapted from New Hampshire’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) January newsletter. The power of partnerships is something that Plan4Health coalitions exhibit in many aspects of their work, collaborating with people from many sectors to work towards common goals. Partnering across programs is a way to amplify changes and is a display of true collaboration. A […]

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January 7, 2016 8:42 PMCategory: Nutrition

Partnering4Health: DHPE on Community Engagement

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In September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a multi-year initiative to prevent and control chronic disease at the community level.  Named the National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention — or Partnering4Health — five organizations are working with selected chapters and affiliates to strengthen health in their communities. A member of […]

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January 6, 2016 10:22 PMCategory: Physical Activity

Planning Play for All

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This entry was written by KaBOOM! We at KaBOOM! think that multi-generational play is one of the best ways to provide all people, regardless of age, opportunities to be active.  We believe that when the built environment is family-friendly and offers opportunities for family members of all ages to engage in playful activities, parents are […]

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January 5, 2016 5:20 PMCategory: Nutrition

Partnering4Health: SOPHE’s Nutrition Toolkit

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In September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a multi-year initiative to prevent and control chronic disease at the community level. Named the National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention — or Partnering4Health — five organizations are working with selected chapters and affiliates to strengthen health in their communities. A member […]

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