Built Environment and Complete Streets
We all want to be healthy, but we need environments that enable us to make healthy choices safely, conveniently, and affordably. The way our communities are designed can either help or hinder our ability to make healthy choices.
Healthy General Plans
Decisions surrounding planning and community design can have a significant impact on the physical, social and mental health of community members. Local leaders can influence health when making decisions related to the general plan, zoning, conditional use permits, environmental review and health impact assessments.
Healthy Food Access and Procurement
We all want to make healthy choices about what we eat. However, if nutritious foods are unavailable close to home, or are priced outside our food budget, that’s not a viable option. Municipal leaders can help communities access fresh, affordable and nutritious food through regulatory power, food access policies, zoning, and healthy nutritional standards.
Trying to make healthy decisions in the workplace can be a challenge when faced with the office candy bowl, vending machines and break-room donuts. In addition to temptation, it’s hard to be physically active at work when a job requires sitting in front of a computer for eight hours, and the elevator is the easiest way to get to the office. There are strategies that municipalities can adopt that make eating healthy and being physically active at work easier to do.
Healthy & Equitable Economic Development
Municipal leaders work to create livable, prosperous communities – places where people want to live, work, locate and grow their businesses, raise families, and age. HEAL policies and practices can improve a community’s health and livability and enhance its local economy. As cities and towns experience economic changes, municipal leaders are uniquely positioned to help encourage equitable economic development that promotes a thriving community for all residents.
Communities can work to provide safe, walkable neighborhoods and convenient access to healthy food and places to be physically active to promote the health and wellness of older adults. Municipal leaders can harness the ideas and vigor of the older adults in their communities to work together to create age-friendly environments that will help their older citizens stay vital and remain healthy as they age.