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Healthy Communities in PA

The Healthy Communities in PA task force encourages healthy community design in Pennsylvania by combining expertise from the planning and health fields.



Want to help encourage healthy community design in Pennsylvania? This quick (10 min) survey lets us know your healthy community design priorities to help identify resources for Pennsylvania’s communities. If you are involved with a program or project related to healthy community design, including it in this survey can help you advertise your program as a resource to other Pennsylvania communities.

Let us know what you think at Take Survey

Want to help get the word out to your networks? Our social media share kit makes it easy!

What is Healthy Community Design?

Healthy community design advocates work to link the fields of health and planning to ensure that those designing the built environment consistently consider health outcomes and those seeking to improve public health consider the physical environment.

When the Healthy Communities in PA Task Force uses the term healthy community design, it is related to this perspective of linking health and planning by professionals and advocates. The healthy communities we are trying to enable through design has a much more inclusive definition that covers many different aspects. For more extensive background on healthy communities in the broader context of community consider the following resources:

“Healthy community design is about planning and designing communities to make it easier for people to live healthy lives. Healthy community design encourages mixed land uses to bring people closer to the places where they live, work, worship, and play. Doing so reduces dependence on cars and provides affordable housing, good bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, space for social gathering, and access to transit, parks, and healthy foods.”

-U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




What is the Healthy Communities in PA Task Force?

The Healthy Communities in PA Task Force combines the expertise of health and planning professionals to discuss the best ways to encourage healthy communities design implementation in Pennsylvania. The Healthy Communities in PA Task Force was created with the assistance of a CDC Partnerships in Community Health Planners4Health grant from the national American Planning Association (APA).

The task force holds a regular telephone call on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. to introduce new members and have general information sharing as outlined in this one page description. The task force forms working groups to tackle projects as needed which meet at the convenience of the members. Anyone wishing to further the implementation of healthy community design in Pennsylvania is welcome to join this google group listserv or submit your information in the contact us section of our website with the request “Join Healthy Communities in PA.”


Healthy Community Design Resources

Upcoming Free Webinars

Local Food: The Secret Ingredient for Vibrant Downtowns
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern

Whether you are a foodie or a farmer, local food is something to embrace. In small towns, the local food movement is doing more than putting meals on plates—it is nourishing economies by keeping farms vital and downtowns alive.
Join the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ for a free hour-long webinar on how farmers’ markets and food co-ops are addressing their local community needs while stimulating downtown development.

Register Now

Planners4Health Session Five: Communications: Framing, Messaging, and Marketing
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 3 p.m. Eastern

The fifth session in the Planners4Health Curriculum series focuses on communications. Participants will learn about how to articulate value propositions and return on investment, as well as methods for deploying social media and other marketing tools to connect with the community. Through all communication mechanisms, it is important to tailor messages to specific audiences. The Columbus, IN Plan4Health coalition will share success, challenges, and lessons learned from their work on the ground.

Register Now


In Person Events

FitCityPHL 3
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Location: Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Host: Public Health Management Corporation; http://www.phmc.org

FitCityPHL is an annual full-day symposium that explores design strategies in workplaces, neighborhoods, and cities that improve health by promoting physical activity and healthy eating. It brings together individuals representing the sectors of architecture, planning, design, landscape architecture, development, public health, research and evaluation, academia, philanthropy, and government to learn about how the built environment can have a positive impact on the negative health trends currently facing communities – particularly obesity and other chronic conditions. At this year’s symposium, attendees will be able to interact with public sector leaders in a town hall format, learn about community engagement and workplace active design strategies, and participate in several walking tours highlighting local examples of active design.