Contributing to APA Guidelines for Health in Development

Jan 20, 2016


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with the American Planning Association recently released new design review guidelines on health in the development review process. Bill Bruce, the lead in our Knoxville office, and Michelle Eichinger of Designing4Health, were able to help provide some key insights into how health can be integrated into the local-level planning specifically in how it relates to site planning and review. Michelle had contributed to some of the initial concepts behind these guidelines when she worked at the state health department in Delaware, so this continuation was a natural fit.

Bill and Michelle were able to provide input on the preliminary Review Guidelines in the following categories:

1.  Detailing categories and criteria in which to integrate health in development projects (Michelle)

–  Transportation
–  Food security (the entire section focusing on accessing affordable healthy foods)
–  Social connectedness
–  Safety
–  Adjacent land uses and connectivity
–  Smoke-free communities—healthy housing
–  Equity priority


2.  Detailing recommendations on design features/elements that address health in the planning (Bill)

–  Sidewalk width and hierarchy
–  Trees and locations (health benefits- shade- heat reduction and sun protection)
–  Bicycle infrastructure
–  Open space/ location
–  Types of streets/street networks
–  Community gathering spaces
–  Land uses


The completed document can be found from the American Planning Association