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How to Design Healthy Places

How to Design Healthy Places

Health can be a powerful lens for analyzing design and planning priorities. However, while there is a great deal of research on these connections, knowing how to apply it to a specific place can be complicated. This is where evidence based practice—practice informed by research—has an important role to play.

The HAPI work thus far can be applied in the following ways:

To coordinate, educate, and raise awareness on the relationships between health and place.
What does research show about how health and place our connected? The HAPI team has summarized the results of hundreds of studies into topical research briefs for public use online. HAPI also conducted a webinar series to feature the range of research being conducted as part of this initiative, with speakers discussing the practical applications of their work.

To assess potential health impacts of a proposed or existing place.
Health Assessments are a way to evaluate past planning outcomes or new planning and design proposals. Detailed checklists, and highly structured workshops, can be used to review draft plans and proposals as well as existing neighborhoods. They offer comprehensive assessments of how the built environment relates to

To help create healthy physical places (from block to region) by translating research into practice.
The forthcoming planning and design guidelines and prototypes book are not just about translating research about health into practical guidelines, but also about creating places that reflect a broader concept of health or well-being. A forthcoming book on communities in China shows how health can be a lens for understanding ordinary places.