Healthy Places - Publications

There are many helpful publications mentioned on the topic pages.  Here is an even bigger, growing collection of publications to help ensure public health is considered when making policy, systems, and environmental changes.

Most of the publications listed here are provided in Adobe’s Portable Document Format  (PDF).  These files should be easy to read on a computer or portable electronic device with using document reader software.  We have collected these files from their original authors to display them all in one place.  This helps to prevent broken web links although in a few situations the author may have a more recent version of a report available on their website.

Highlighted Resources

AARP Livability Workshop Report

AARP Rural Livability Workshop Report

AARP's newest free publication explores "how and why small towns and remote communities are working to become more livable for older adults and people of all ages." Check it out here!

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Healthy Rural Community Design Tool

This took was designed to help planners in rural areas incorporate health into their comprehensive plans.   Version 3.1.1 of the tool is available HERE!

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 

In November 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, which outlines the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The document also highlights new benefits of physical activity and tested strategies that can be used to get all Americans more active.  HHS's Move Your Way campaign resources are designed to help explain the Physical Activity Guidelines to consumers. These resources include interactive tools, fact sheets, videos and graphics that are available for communities, health professionals and others to promote the health benefits of meeting the new recommendations, along with tips for how to help people become more active.

More from AARP:

The AARP Livability Roadmap to Livability Collection is a set of six workbooks with strategies and solutions to make a community great for people of all ages.


Document Link 



Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), 2014

Alliance for Biking and Walking 

Bicycling and Walking in the United States Benchmarking Report, 2014

America Walks

Steps to a Walkable Community: A Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Engineers

American Academy of Pediatrics

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children, 2009

American Planning Association

Healthy Planning: An Evaluation of Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans Addressing Public Health, 2012

American Planning Association

The Benefits of Street-Scale Features for Walking and Biking, 2015

American Public Health Association

Championing Change: Elected Officials Act Locally to Make Their Communities Healthier

Canadian Medical Association

Health and the Built Environment: A Review, 2012

California Department of Public Health

A Guide for Health Impact Assessment, 2010


Active Transportation Surveillance – United States, 1999-2012, 2015

Center for Housing Policy

The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary, 2015

Center for Housing Policy

The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health, 2007

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity: Community Strategies for Preventing Chronic Disease, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Power of Prevention: Chronic disease…the public health challenge of the 21st century, 2009

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Community Health Assessment for Population Health Improvement, 2013

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health, 2016
What Works for Health Overview, 2016

Environmental Protection Agency

Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions Among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality, 2013

Environmental Protection Agency

Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency

Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Rural Planning, Zoning, and Development Codes, 2012

Environmental Protection Agency

Building Vibrant Communities, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model, 2008

Environmental Protection Agency

Sustainable Growth Guidelines, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency

Youth Travel to School: Community Design Relationships with Mode Choice, Vehicle Emissions, and Healthy Body Weight, 2008

Federal Highway Administration

Creating Livable Communities: How the transportation decision making process can support more livable community outcomes, 2011

Federal Highway Administration

Healthier Generations: A Look at the 10 Years of the Federal Safe Routes to School Program, 2015

Federal Highway Administration

Resident’s Guide to Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking, 2015

Federal Highway Administration

Road Diet Information Guide, 2014

George Washington University

Improving Community Health through Hospital Community Benefit Spending: Charting a Path to Reform, 2016

Governors’ Institute on Community Design

Policies that Work: A Governors’ Guide to Growth and Development

Health Resources in Action

Leveraging Multi-Sector Investments: New Opportunities to Improve the Health and Vitality of Communities, 2014

HIA of the Americas Working Group

Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in Health Impact Assessments – V1, 2012

HIA Practice Standards Working Group 

Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for HIA –  V3, 2014

International City/County Management Association

Brownfields Redevelopment: A Guidebook for Local Governments and Communities, 2014

International Journal of Environment and Health

Designing and Building Healthy Places for Children, 2008

Journal of the American Medical Association

Association of Neighborhood Walkability With Change in Overweight, Obesity, and Diabetes

National Center for Safe Routes to School

Advancing Transportation and Health, 2013

National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Along Existing Roads—ActiveTrans Priority Tool Guidebook, 2015

National Recreation and Parks Association

Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health: Introducing SOPARC, 2014

National Recreation and Parks Association

Parks Build Healthy Communities: Success Stories

National Prevention Council

National Prevention Strategy, 2011

National Housing Council

How Investing in Housing Can Save on Health Care, 2016

National Housing Council

The Role of Anchor Institutions in Restoring Neighborhoods, 2016

New York City

Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design, 2010

New York Restoration Project

Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests, 2011

New York Urban Green

Building Resiliency Task Force, 2013

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities, 2012

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities, 2011

Project for Public Spaces

The Case for Healthy Places

Public Health Institute

Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

A New Way to Talk About the Social Determinants of Health, 2010

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

A State-by-State Look at Adult Health, 2009

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Beyond Health Care: New Directions to a Healthier America – Executive Summary, 2009

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Beyond Health Care: New Directions to a Healthier America, 2009

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity, 2015

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Taking Back the Streets and Sidewalks: How Safe Routes to School and Community Safety Initiatives Can Overcome Violence and Crime, 2015

Smart Growth America

Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development, 2016

Smart Growth America

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies, 2015

Smart Growth America

The Best Complete Streets Policies, 2014

Smart Growth Network

Getting to Smart Growth: 100 Policies for Implementation, 2002

Smart Growth Network

Getting to Smart Growth II: 100 More Policies for Implementation, 2003

Smart Growth Network

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities, 2010

Surgeon General

Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes, 2009

Surgeon General 

Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities, 2015

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Greenways 101: General Advice for the Development of a Hard-Surfaced Greenway Project, 2014

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Tennessee Trails & Tracks Resource Guide, 2013

Tennessee Department of Health

Tennessee Statewide Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan, 2010

Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable Network

Navigating Our Future: Best Practice Case Studies, 2013

Transportation for America

Case Study: Nashville, TN - Prioritizing public health benefits through better project evaluation, 2016

University City District

The Case for Parklets: Measuring the Impact of Sidewalk Vitality and Neighborhood Businesses, 2014

University of Illinois at Chicago

Prioritizing Transportation Equity through Complete Streets, 2016

White House

President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, 2014