Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions. The Centers for Disease Control’s Healthy Community Design Initiative is part of the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services. The Initiative works to improve public health by linking public health surveillance with community design decisions; improving community design decisions through tools such as Health Impact Assessment; educating decision makers on the health impact of community design; building partnerships with community design decision makers and their influencers; conducting research to identify the links between health and community design; and translating research into best practices. As part of the Initiative, the CDC has developed a Healthy Community Design Checklist, aimed at community residents but of value to architects in the process of community engagement. A PDF of the Checklist, which includes links to a variety of related sources, is available here.
Explorations of the relationship between design and health forms a continuing thread on AIACC.org in 2012. Previous articles on the topic include Bill Rostenberg, FAIA’s “Metrics in Healthcare Architecture”; W. Mike Martin, FAIA’s “Expert Intuition and Evidence-Based Design,” Part I and Part II; and Wayne Ruga, FAIA’s “Architecture As a Place to Flourish.”