Sustainable Community Strategies

The practice of developing sustainable places has illuminated the importance of aligning public health and urban planning. The premise of Urban Planning is to protect the health, safety and welfare of communities and we are now seeing a greater understanding as to the importance of aligning the two fields of study more closely. While some urban planning assessments are less-prescriptive than those of public health, we see that both disciplines processes are dynamic and emphasize community involvement. The differences arise in semantics and process flows. The premise of an integrated approach is exploring a comprehensive practice that encompasses both public health and urban planning to influence policy decisions that is supported by the current focus on preventive health measures.

The interface of the built and natural environments has a great influence on community health. A greater understanding is needed for applying health indicators and data appropriately for better decision making in urban planning. And, in public health, a greater understanding is needed to understand how regulatory processes affect elements of the built and natural environments that ultimately influence community health.