CDC and Planners Bring Healthy Design to Communities

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Woman walking in a healthy community.
Woman walking in a healthy community. Thinkstock photo.

Health professionals and community planners know that health starts where you live, learn, work, and play. They support the design and development of communities that encourage healthy behaviors, quality of life, and social connectedness. Learn how one planning firm is using National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) resources to ensure healthy community design.

HKS, a global architecture firm that focuses on healthcare design, with an office in Atlanta, is working on a proposed plan that would create a health district around the DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia. The availability of health resources has made the area more attractive to seniors; the plan would give good infrastructure for creating a healthy and safe community environment.

The draft of the plan contains a copy of one of the CDC resources HKS used to develop the plan with community members: The Healthy Community Design Checklist created by NCEH Health Communicator Charles Green. In addition to the checklist, HKS is using CDC resources Planning and Health Resource Guide for Designing and Building Healthy Neighborhoods and the CHANGE Tool.

Other CDC guides HKS is using include the following:

Fresh fruits and vegetables at a local community farmer’s market.
Fresh fruits and vegetables at a local community farmer’s market. Thinkstock photo.

“Because HKS works on several healthcare projects in Georgia and across the world [particularly China], we constantly seek opportunities to influence the health of communities,” said Sheba Ross, HKS senior planner. “We will continue to refer to CDC resources in future master plan designs as we have already seen positive implications on how it shapes our solutions.”

CDC planner George Chandler has also used the Healthy Community Design Checklist. George incorporated elements from the checklist into master plans for CDC’s Roybal and Lawrenceville campuses and into CDC’s planning guidance for all master plans. He is sharing the checklist adaptation with other federal facilities in hopes they will adopt it.

Get more information about CDC’s Healthy Community Design Initiative.


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Page last reviewed: November 2, 2015
Page last updated: November 2, 2015