Project Overview

Through an overarching collaborative strategy that brings together members of APA and the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Plan4Health project is building local capacity to address population health goals and promote the inclusion of health in non-traditional sectors.

Coalitions made up of APA chapters, APHA affiliate groups, and others are working to set a new paradigm for healthy planning. By leveraging complementary expertise and influence, this project seeks to expand the use of innovative tactics to address tough problems — making communities healthier and more equitable.

Food for All

Inclusive Food Planning in Austin, Texas

The Austin, Texas, Office of Sustainability partnered with the University of Texas to create the Food for All plan, using an approach that pilots the development of inclusive neighborhood food system planning. This report examines the project's focus on community engagement through surveys and focus groups, and bringing policy recommendations back to neighborhood residents and retailers before making them final.

The project website features in-depth descriptions of all 35 Plan4Health coalitions. For a sample of Plan4Health products, check out the sections below.

To learn more about Plan4Health projects and partners, view the following on-demand courses:

AARP's Livability Index

Active Living Index

Creating Story Maps

Health Impact Assessment with Urban Land Institute

Introduction to Wayfinding

Landscape Performance for Healthy Communities

Toolkit for Rural Communities

Plan4Health at a Glance

Anchored by American Planning Association (APA) chapters and American Public Health Association (APHA) affiliates, with funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Community Health, Plan4Health supported creative partnerships to build sustainable, cross-sector coalitions.

The 35 coalitions participating in the Plan4Health project are working to increase access to nutritious foods or to increase opportunities for physical activity. All coalitions include planners and public health professionals as well as a range of community-based organizations, such as universities, local governments, and others committed to building healthy, vibrant communities.

The following toolkits offer a snapshot of reports, webinars, toolkits, community examples, videos, podcasts, and more about active living, nutrition and health in all planning policies from Plan4Health. The toolkits can be read cover to cover or looked at in pieces, as each page can be a stand-alone document to inform and educate:

For more information about the final iteration of Plan4Health, check out Planners4Health.

Plan4Health Coalitions

Plan4Health impacted communities across the country. From regions to cities to neighborhoods, coalitions advanced strategies to make it easier to be active and to eat healthy food. The map below represents established or emerging coalitions from both cohorts of Plan4Health.

See the places in an Esri story map


APHA Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC's A Practitioners Guide for Advancing Health Equity is focused on policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to improve the places where people live, learn, work, and play

CDC's The Guide to Community Preventive Services is the place to find evidence-based recommendations and findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force. The guide:

  • Uses a science-based approach
  • Covers many health topics and types of interventions for behavior change, disease prevention and environmental change
  • Identifies where more research is needed
  • Complements other decision support tools, such as Healthy People 2020

CDC's Social Vulnerability Index uses U.S. Census variables at tract level to help local officials identify communities that may need support in preparing for hazards, or recovering from disaster.

Additional Resources

Other Resources

Community Commons is an interactive mapping, networking, and learning utility for the broad-based healthy, sustainable, and livable communities' movement. Tools organized by topic:

  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Food Systems
  • Local Economy

Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse

  • Explore resources by discipline
  • Access webinars
  • Read guides and primers
  • Locate Data and Assessment Tools
  • 1,100-plus word interdisciplinary glossary

National Prevention Strategy aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being;envisions a prevention-oriented society where all sectors recognize the value of health for individuals, families, and society and work together to achieve better health for Americans

  • Partner Implementation Models showcase how organizations from around the country are utilizing the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) to guide their work to improve individual and community health and wellbeing

Policy and Systems Change (PsC) Framework