Healthy Community Design Health and the built environment are intricately linked (Design for Health). How the built environment affects physical activity and how changes in the environment can promote active living are issues that have captured public attention. Nationally, organizations and local governments are collaborating with planners and engineers to be more involved in decision-making processes, using their expertise in issues related to the built environment, such as land use planning and healthy community design, with the goal of improving community health outcomes (NACCHO).
Community design influences behavior and health outcomes through multiple ways, including facilitating physical activity through the presence of sidewalks or preventing the consumption of healthy foods due to the absence of grocery stores. Healthy community design links elements of planning including land use, transportation, housing, and parks and open space with health themes such as, physical activity, the natural environment, public safety, pollutants, and epidemiological issues (Design for Health). Below are some healthy community design principles and benefits when incorporated in a proposed development project.