Built Environment Resources

Fenced-in old, deserted building fronts

Built Environment Resources

The following resources employ a variety of strategies to promote health and reduce inequalities in the built environment. They can be used to inform potential recommendations.

Environmental Scan Tool (EST)
The Harris County Public Health Built Environment Unit (HCPH BE) Unit developed an Environmental Scan Tool (EST) which was adapted from the Pedestrian Environmental Data Scan (PEDS)1. EST collects data at the street segment level on pedestrian, bicycle, and drainage infrastructure, as well as Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates for certain street elements and traffic control devices (e.g., bus stops, stop signs, ADA ramps, pedestrian crossing signals). The EST field data can then be linked to a geospatial streets dataset and layered with socioeconomic data to form baseline maps of the walking environment. For additional training protocol and materials, please email [email protected]

Safe Routes to School Toolkit-Coming Soon
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide users with the knowledge and understanding needed to bring SRTS to their community and find solutions that work best for them.

Healthy Development Guide-Coming Soon
Building Healthy in Harris County is designed to promote healthy urban planning and development by providing developers, planners, architects, public health, and other entities with a robust guide of key health considerations that highlight the potential health implications of development plans and projects. This non-regulatory guide is intended to prompt conversations and critical thinking with regard to health and development.

Health Impact Toolkit- Coming Soon
This toolkit was created to serve as a guide for decision-makers in utilizing Health Impact Tools (HITs) including both HIAs and HIRs. These tools apply a health lens to a drafted plan, policy or project to ensure that decisions have neutral or beneficial impact on the health and well-being of Harris County communities.

Climate and Health
For more information about climate change and public health in Harris County visit the climate resources page. 

Safe Routes to School (SRTS)

SRTS is a national initiative to improve the safety, accessibility, and environment surrounding schools by encouraging active transport and increased connectivity.

Tactical Urbanism
The Streets Plans Collaborative published a collection of short-term, local strategies typically used to instigate change in the urban environment.

Crash Modification Factors (CMF) Clearinghouse
CMFs are multiplicative factors used to estimate the reduction in crashes by implementing a change in the roadway.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
Implementing CPTED involves changing the physical environment to deter criminal activity by way of increased natural surveillance, access control, and territorial reinforcement.

Healthy Food Access
Healthy Food Access supports bringing healthy foods to corner stores where fresh produce is uncommon and options are limited.

Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) Livable Centers Program
The Livable Centers works with local communities to create a built environment where people are able to access destinations with less reliance on their cars by incorporating amenities such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The Livable Centers Program also promotes a sense of community and an increase in jobs leading to an outcome of improved quality of life. 

Houston Complete Streets
The Complete Streets and Transportation Plan goal is to provide walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods that are safe and accessible for people of all abilities. The Complete Streets approach is incorporated into the City of Houston’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan annual process. 

Houston Vision Zero
This plan aims to end traffic deaths and serious injuries and create safe, equitable, accessible streets for people walking, rolling, biking, driving, and connecting to transit. 

Harris County Vision Zero
Coming soon!