Comprehensive Plans and Health Toolkit

The Comprehensive Plans and Health toolkit includes resources to successfully integrate health into the goals, objectives, and policies that encompass comprehensive plans.  Comprehensive plans are a key way to impact the built environment as well as the policies that support public health and wellness. This set of resources includes a fact sheet, tutorial webinars, APA reports and additional published materials that provide helpful data, examples, and further resources to incorporate health into comprehensive plans in your community.

  •  Healthy Plan Making Fact Sheet
    This two-page summary that provides a framework for integrating health considerations into comprehensive plans. This framework consists of strategies commonly used in the planning process to create vibrant communities, shows their connection to public health, and identifies best practices from across the country.


APA Reports
The following reports were part of an extensive study, funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at comprehensive plans throughout the United States, analyzed their contents for integration of public health priorities and practices, and summarized best practices.

  • Healthy Planning: An evaluation of comprehensive and sustainability plans addressing public health
    In the second phase of this work, APA selected a group of 22 comprehensive and sustainability plans for a detailed evaluation of their goals, objectives, and policies. The evaluation assessed the extent to which these plans addressed public health through six broad health-related planning topics: Active Living, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Exposures, Food and Nutrition, Health and Human Services and Social Cohesion and Mental Health. The report shows which public health topics have been included the most and which topics received the least attention. The report also highlights plan strengths and weaknesses in addressing public health and identifies examples of robust policies from across the group of plans.
  • Comprehensive Planning for Public Health: Results of the Planning and Community Health Research Center Survey
    As part of the first phase of this project, APA developed a national, web-based survey to identify draft and adopted comprehensive and sustainability plans that explicitly include public health related goals, objectives, and policies, and inventory the public health topics included in the plans. The survey also identifies the opportunities and barriers that communities face in the development and adoption of such policies and assesses the current state of planning for public health nationally. Results of the survey include a list of municipalities and counties from across the country that explicitly address public health in their comprehensive or sustainability plan.

  • PAS Memo
    This memo presents methods for how health-oriented language can be part of the planning process.

Additional Resources: