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Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources

The following websites provide additional information on the emerging field of public health and the built environment:

The Path to Healthy Communities: Mapping California’s Priorities

A new report by the Having Our Say Coalition analyzes factors that influence health and the prevalence of health conditions to identify and prioritize high-need cities, counties, and communities. The brief also identifies policy recommendations for policymakers, public health experts, and community leaders to incorporate health in land use and transportation decision making to ensure our communities live healthier lives.

Report 

The Healthy Development Measurement Tool (HDMT)

Developed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the Healthy Development Measurement Tool is an evidence-based practice to consider public health objectives in land use planning. It provides land use planners, public agencies, and community stakeholders with a set of metrics to assess the extent to which urban development projects, plans and policies affect health.

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Center for Health and Places, PolicLink

Where you live affects how you live. A range of socioeconomic and environmental conditions such as income, segregation, pollution, crime, availability of fresh foods and safe recreational facilities, and accessible quality housing have dramatic impacts on individual and community health.

The Center's equitable development approach sheds light on the link between neighborhood conditions and the health of residents; it ensures meaningful participation and leadership from community members; it illustrates that “double bottom line” investments are beneficial for the community and developers; and it focuses on eliminating local and regional disparities. The Center's work advances policies that eliminate adverse neighborhood conditions. We provide technical training and capacity building, policy advocacy, and communications training to advocates working to create healthier communities. And we develop reports and toolkits, informed by data-rich studies and the experience of local constituencies, to make needed resources accessible by all.

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Public Health Law and Policy

Planning for Healthy Places at Public Health Law & Policy works to engage public health advocates in the land-use decision-making process throughout California. We develop tools for training advocates in the relationship between the built environment and public health, and provide technical assistance for creating and implementing land use policies that support healthier communities.

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Great Communities Toolkit

The Great Communities Toolkit is a downloadable toolkit that helps community groups shape transit-oriented development opportunities, ensuring affordable homes, local shops, access to job centers and improved community services.

The Toolkit is a free compendium of resources to help those advocating for sound transit station development. The toolkit was developed to help community groups shape Great Communities around transit, by helping them make sure these plans will result in neighborhoods of affordable homes, shops, accessible job centers, and community services. With this toolkit, you will have the tools influence your city’s plans for neighborhoods near transit.

The toolkit was developed by the Great Communities Collaborative, which brings together residents and local organizations to participate in community planning processes across the San Francisco Bay Area. The collaborative is working to create a region of vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing, shops, jobs, and services within convenient walking distance near transit.

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Health Impact Assessment Toolkit

The HIA Toolkit for Community Based Planning was developed by Human Impact Partners for the Great Communities Collaborative, this toolkit is designed to help local communities do a health impact assessment in their own neighborhoods.

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California Air Resources Board

Air Quality and Land Use Handbook: A Community Health Perspective

As part of the Air Resources Board's (ARB) Community Health Program, the ARB has developed an Air Quality and Land Use Handbook (Handbook) which is intended to serve as a general reference guide for evaluating and reducing air pollution impacts associated with new projects that go through the land use decision-making process. The ARB is also developing related information and technical evaluation tools for addressing cumulative air pollution impacts in a community. These tools will be available through the ARB’s Internet site or in the form of future supplements.

Any recommendations or considerations contained in the Handbook are voluntary and do not constitute a requirement or mandate for either land use agencies or local air districts.

For more information regarding the Handbook, please contact Dr. Linda Murchison, Division Chief of ARB’s Planning and Technical Support Division, at (916) 322-5350. You may also contact Mr. Jeff Weir at (916) 445-0098, or jweir@arb.ca.gov.

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The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Project

The West Contra Costa County HEAL Project aims to improve the health and quality of life for the residents of three target areas: Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo, California. The project is working to create communities where healthy choices are easy, healthy food is accessible, and the street and parks are safe for outdoor exercising such as jogging and bicycling. Specifically, the project aims to reverse chronic obesity and diabetes trends, especially within African-American and Latino populations.

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