241167 Crossing Boundaries for Health: Effective Planning and Policy Development for Active Living

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

S. Elizabeth Ford, MD, MBA , Director's Office, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
Andrew Baker , Department of Planning & Sustainablity, DeKalb County, GA, Decatur, GA
Problem: In 2006, the county adopted the DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan (2005 2025) which is based on development of mixed-use activity centers. DeKalb County was developed as a bedroom community for the City of Atlanta and has typical suburban development patterns of subdivisions and big-box shopping centers. These residential subdivisions are often developed with cul-de-sacs with one entry and no connectivity to adjacent neighborhoods. The commercial developments are also car dependent and cater to vehicular traffic over pedestrians.

The adopted Comprehensive Plan supports mixed-use activity centers and higher-density residential, retail/personal service uses, office and civic uses. In an effort to broaden this concept, the goal of the Master Active Living Plan (MALP) is to identify other destination points throughout the county such as parks, libraries, mass transit stations, and schools and connect these destinations to the mixed-use activity centers. The MALP identifies potential connections through sidewalks, trails, paths and biking alternatives that provide a pleasant experience to reach the destinations and encourage active living, particularly in areas identified to have highest need. The pedestrian linkages will weave the residential neighborhoods with the desired destination points. Each MALP component will be adopted and amended (giving it the teeth of law) to the comprehensive plan. As a result, all new development within the study area will have to be consistent with the adopted plan. Its significance lies in its innovative marriage of health promotion with planning and development in the creation of a plan that is not only comprehensive, but sustainable.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify ways of engaging key stakeholders, elected officials, and high-level leadership in health planning and development for Policy, Systems, and Environmental changes; 2. Demonstrate the use of data for strategic, environmental change strategies; 3. Explain the concept of a Master Active Living Plan for a city or county and its implications for improved walk- and bike-ability.

Keywords: Community Development, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the District Health Director for the DeKalb County Board of Health and I am the Principal Investigator for the federal grant that supports this initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.