245600 Building healthy neighborhoods from the ground up: Participatory community planning to reduce health disparities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:53 PM

Katie Gannon, MLA , Drachman Institute, College of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Neighborhoods that are characterized by lower socioeconomic status suffer from disparities in attributes in the built environment that encourage and facilitate regular physical activity such as safe and inviting open spaces, walking and bicycle routes, and transit stops. The Pima County "Communities Putting Prevention to Work" is employing a neighborhood-based strategy to work with neighborhood residents to identify barriers to physical activity, identify local opportunities for environmental changes, and engage community members to participate in the development and implementation of ideas to get neighbors active within their local community. By building on local expertise, existing partnerships and opportunities already in the neighborhood, Pima County CPPW is developing successful environmental interventions that are consensus-based, economically feasible and directly address the environmental barriers that reduce access to physical activity. Neighborhood residents use observational assessments of their community and GIS mapping that consolidates information about the social and physical dimensions of their community-environment, simultaneously establishing a baseline for assessment and a starting point for the participatory planning process. Participants in this session will be able to engage neighborhood residents in the process of participatory community planning and articulate how this approach positively impacts the human, social and physical development of communities and its potential to reduce health disparities. In addition, participants will be able to identify built-in evaluation strategies to measure the result of these efforts on the environment and the physical activity of residents.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the positive impact of participatory neighborhood planning on the human, social and physical development of a community. 2. Describe the steps of a participatory neighborhood planning process. 3. Demonstrate how baseline assessments of the physical environment are used in the planning process and provide a built-in assessment tool. 4. Identify how a participatory process reduces barriers to physical activity.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I convene diverse community stakeholders and facilitate participatory processes for urban planning and design projects that get funded and built.
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.