Healthy Community Design
The environment in which we live, work, and play is closely associated with our health and our carbon footprint. Green space access is one example of a community design element that benefits both climate and health. It improves health by offering opportunities for physical activity and improving air quality and it mitigates climate change by reducing trips to parks and making the neighborhood more resilient to extreme weather events.
Other design elements that also have climate and health co-benefits are bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, street connectivity and density, mixed use zoning and buildings, and green building and housing design, construction, and remodeling. Communities that have these design elements are healthier, contribute less to climate change and are more resilient to changes in the local climate.
Resources on healthy community design
- Designing and Building Healthy Places - Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Active Living Initiatives - Department of Health
- Safe routes to School Program - Department of Transportation
- Green Building Initiatives - Department of Ecology
- Smart Growth Principles - Environmental Protection Agency
- Climate-Ready States & Cities Initiative - Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Adopt a Community Plan for Addressing Climate Change
- Climate Resilient Communities Tool, Local Governments for Sustainability USA
- Preparing for Climate Change