You are here: Home / Communications / News / Summer Institute: Healthy Community Design

Summer Institute: Healthy Community Design

This year's Summer Institute for Public Health Practice is offering a week-long course on health and the built environment. The Summer Institute will be hosted August 9–13, 2010 at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Summer Institute: Healthy Community Design

Land use within communities greatly impacts the health of residents.

June 29, 2010

Community designs that feature parks, sidewalks, trails, community gathering places, public transit, mixed land uses, and connectivity among destinations increases physical activity, while reducing obesity, dependence on automobiles, air pollution, motor vehicle crashes, and pedestrian injuries.

Some community design decisions can adversely affect vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, the disabled, and persons with low income.

That's why this year's Summer Institute for Public Health Practice is offering a week-long course on health and the built environment. The Summer Institute will be hosted August 9–13, 2010 at the University of Washington in Seattle.

How will this course help me?

Suppose construction of a major housing development has been proposed in your heath jurisdiction. There is public interest in creating a healthy community that would be sustainable, not as car dependent, and welcoming to all income levels. Several community leaders have approached the Health Department to get involved to help model healthy community design.

This is an important opportunity for both your community and your Health Department. It is the first step in establishing capacity within your Health Department to ensure public health is considered in every land use and community design issue. You have the access to research, expertise and data that could help influence the decision making process, but you aren’t certain how to be most effective. You need to identify department data and expertise and then share this information in an organized and persuasive manner. This course will help you prepare to do just that.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate how design and planning decisions impact human health.
  • Explain how planning and urban design decisions are made.
  • Determine how existing health department data and resources can inform decision making.
  • Strategically identify how public health can positively influence planning.
  • Describe how health impact assessment tools can influence decision making and create healthier communities.
  • Develop strategies to work in community planning efforts and identify key decision makers.
  • Name the national resources available to help create healthy communities.
  • Use walkability audits to get community members and elected officials involved in creating healthy communities.


This course will include readings, discussions and practical exercises. For more information, contact Trudy San Jose White via email sanjose@u.washington.edu or phone 206.685.2931.

STORY TO SHARE?

We love public health stories! We feature them in our postcard series, Spotlight on the Field, and news items. Please contact us to share your story!