Healthy Community Design

How do we Build Health Into Our Communities?

Where we live, work, play, and learn affects our health. The built environment – or the design of our cities and towns – can foster equity and create healthy opportunities for everyone. Consider the following:

  • Communities with safe, accessible options for active transportation (like walking and biking) see higher rates of physical activity.
  • Neighborhoods with accessible and healthy food options see higher rates of fruit and vegetable intake, and lower rates of chronic disease like obesity and diabetes.
  • Access to affordable housing allows residents to spend more on food and health care, which may contribute to improving health outcomes.
  • Housing that is poorly maintained or located close to freeways is associated with asthma and other respiratory diseases in residents.

For these reasons, the planning decisions that help shape many elements of the built environment – from housing and transportation to schools, public spaces, and healthy food choices – are key to our community's health.

For more information or to attend Healthy Communities Work Group meetings, held virtually on the first Thursday of each month, contact [email protected].



Building Healthy Communities Checklist

Healthy Communities Dashboard – SLO Health Counts