250970 How public health professionals can add value to predicting and evaluating the health impacts of city planning projects and policies

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:10 PM

Beth Altshuler, MPH, MCP , Public Health Planning, Raimi + Associates, Berkeley, CA
In the past five years, a number of jurisdictions have incorporated “health and the built environment” research findings into their intuitions and operations by adopting Comprehensive Plan Health Elements and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans, focusing on “Smart Growth” development, coordinating Food Policy Councils, conducting Health Impact Assessments, and creating Healthy Eating and Active Living coalitions, among other obesity and asthma initiatives. These initiatives have all been very successful at educating the community groups and policy makers about the synergies between public health and urban planning, and putting policies on the books, however the actual health impact of these policies and programs has yet to be determined. Further, rigorous evaluation methods have yet to be developed. This presentation will step back to discuss how and what we should even be measuring, share case studies of existing and budding methods from a selection of actual non-academic projects, share how predictive tools can help assess the potential health impacts of various development, land use, and transportation alternatives, and what data and tools are missing from the field. City planners will readily admit that public health professionals are much stronger at quantitative evaluation, assessment, and predication. We will share how public health professionals can add value through city planning processes. At the conclusion of the presentation we will pose a number of discussion questions to think about the future direction of the field.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Compare new tools and methods to support integrating public health concerns into city planning.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Community Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work with cities and counties on incorporating public health policies and actions into their plans and programs
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.