Studies Show New Urbanism Good For Health

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With CNU’s 2010 Atlanta Congress: New Urbanism: Rx for Healthy Places on the horizon, New Urbanism’s connection to the health industry has never been stronger. Planners, architects, policy makers, and officials are now, more than ever, realizing that scientific, environmental and health studies may be some of the strongest cases for sustainable, pedestrian and environmentally friendly, economically practical urban places.

Where is the connection and how can planners take advantage of this wealth of knowledge? Planners and health experts team up to project the health effects and environmental impacts of proposed policy and development through HIA’s (Health Impact Assessments). Through extensive analysis and data collection, health consequences of new policies can be measured while providing strategies for minimizing detrimental effects of a policy or design upon health and the environment.

A forerunner of HIA’s is the HIP (Health Impact Project). Dedicated to helping “people make healthier choices,” the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the PEW Charitable Trusts (Pew) joined forces on October 20th, 2009 to “foster a new way of thinking that puts health at the forefront of public policy.” In reaction to the “rising tide of chronic disease” and with the intention of creating “safe, thriving communities, health needs to be regularly factored into policy and program decisions in sectors that do not traditionally focus on health outcomes,” states the HIP website.

How does your policy or project impact the environment?
Promoting the use of HIA’s in policy making process, the HIP, “is accepting proposals for up to 15 HIA demonstrations ranging from $25,000 to $150,000.” Visit the HIP’s Call for Proposals website to learn how you may be eligible to receive funding, training and technical assistance from the HIP and leading HIA experts, in order to put your environmentally conscious policy or project into action.

CNU 18: New Urbanism: Rx for Healthy Places
Mark your calendars for CNU 18: May 19-22, 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. In collaboration with the CDC, CNU’s annual Congress will bring together top health officials to promote and discuss strategies, just like the HIP, which work for the integration of healthy, walkable, vital communities with government policy, community planning development practices.

For more information:
Learn more about CNU 18’s leading role in healthy, sustainable planning initiatives, and what the HIP (Health Impact Project) is doing to promote environmentally conscious planning and policy making.

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