Washington, D.C. ,
07:14 PM

Organizations Representing Nearly a Half Million Professionals Join ‘Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities’

Nation’s planners, designers, builders and public health and park professionals promote collaboration to advance healthier, more walkable communities

Washington, April 3, 2017 — Where we live, work and play can directly impact our physical and mental health. To more aggressively combat negative health factors such as obesity, diabetes, asthma and anxiety, leaders of the nation’s built environment and public health organizations today pledged their support to promote greater collaboration to advance healthier, more walkable communities.

The “Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities,” brings together 450,000 professionals who recognize that the built environment — the way a community is designed and built from its buildings and public spaces to how we travel between communities — is a key determinant of health. Working together will create new momentum towards the common objective of creating and sustaining healthy buildings and spaces.

Providing options for how residents want to move around as well as encouraging physical activity can be achieved through a variety of ways. Solutions may include multi-use pathways for walking and biking, Complete Streets policies, equitable and affordable transportation and transit-oriented communities, implementation of green infrastructure, more efficient land, water and resource use, expanded tree canopies, and access to buildings with health-promoting indoor environments.

Improving community health also has a direct economic benefit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 86 percent of health care spending in 2010 was for people with one or more chronic medical conditions.[1]

“We know the built environment has a profound impact on human health and well-being,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “As an organization with experience shaping the design and operation of the built environment, USGBC is honored to be part of this collaboration to promote the creation of healthy communities for all. By encouraging greater integration between the public health and green building communities, this initiative will advance the creation of spaces that are better for the environment and healthier places to live, learn, work and play."

Possible talking points:

  • By joining this collaborative call to action, we are strengthening our ability to improve communities around the country to benefit everyone.
  • By joining this collaborative call to action, we seek to encourage engagement of our members, representing professions focused on design, construction, planning, and public health. Together we will create new momentum towards the common objective of creating and sustaining healthy buildings and spaces.
  • Collaboration among engineers, planners, architects, landscape architects, built environment designers, constructors and public health professionals provides an unprecedented effort to ensure that the right projects are built and that the projects are built correctly.
  • We create an avenue to inspire leadership of collaboration and positive change in the use and impact of the built environment.

The “Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities” specifically addresses four key points:

1.Creating and foster partnerships that advance health;

2.Building and understanding of health data and establish measurable health objectives for plans and projects;

3.Advancing policies, programs, and systems that promote community health, well-being and equity; and

4.Communicating the importance of health.

Click here to read the entire call to action

Organizations supporting today’s call to action include:

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[1] https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/