Planning and Design Guidelines for Healthier Neighborhoods
Drawing on research briefs, health assessments tools, and academic publications, the GSD team, led by Dr. Ann Forsyth, synthesized existing research on the multiple dimensions connecting health and place at the neighborhood or district scale—from air quality to mental health. Creating Healthy Neighborhoods: Evidence-based Planning and Design Strategies by Ann Forsyth, Emily Salomon, and Laura Smead was published in 2017 by APA Planners Press.
This publication translates research about health and well-being into practical guidelines and considers how planners, designers, civic leaders, and activists can create places that reflect a broader concept of health or wellbeing. The team uses guidance based on research findings where those are available and fill the research gaps using frameworks about how health and place are related more generally and in relation to specific topics and types of places. In addition, the process of implementing new ideas is not unique to health but rather draws on a larger base of research evidence and professional experience. So in the end this can be read as a publication of ideas and guidelines for good planning and design, filtered through the lens of health.