Design for Health

Design for Health

What is Design for Health?

From 2004 – 2012, an urban planning team at the University of Minnesota and Cornell University developed, created and maintained Design for Health (DFH), a project bridging the gap between the research base on community design and healthy living and the everyday realities of local government planning in the United States.

The Design for Health website serves as a repository of the tools, research and resources compiled as part of this project, including*:

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) tools

Comprehensive Plan Review Checklists

Geographic Information System (GIS) Guides

Topical Resources on

*This list in not all-inclusive. These are the most frequently visited pages.

How does Design for Health relate to the Health and Places Initiative?

The Health and Places Initiative is led Dr. Ann Forsyth, who was also the primary lead of Design for Health. Several components of HAPI build off the previous work of DFH, including the health assessment tools and research briefs. HAPI’s version of these tools and briefs are updated to reflect the current research on health and place, and are expanded to encompass an international scope.

Click here to read more about HAPI

Click here to go to