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The Healthy Communities Initiative


The Regional Plan Association (RPA) helps to shape transportation systems, protect open space, and promote better community design.  The Third Regional Plan aimed efforts in five main project areas: community design, open space, transportation, workforce and the economy, and housing. 

The following are projects with attached tools that were from the community design project.These tools can be used by local health departments aiming to implement similar plans.

  • The Healthy Communities Initiative and the New Jersey Mayor's Institute on Community Design was designed to reestablish the relationship between public health planning and community design. This initiative includes site-specific case studies, conferences, publications and research.
  • The Regional Assessment Project Summary and Interim Report regional assessment strategies of the metropolitan landscape, specific to Neighborhood Bikability/Walkability, Context-Specific Questions, and Physical Activity.
  • The Schools and Healthy Communities Project Summary and Interim address the issues of a shift in the conception of a school being a community center that brings together the entire neighborhood to that of a mega-school on the periphery of a community, separated from and separating the community, and its indications in childhood obesity.

Primary Toolkit:

Healthy Community Design Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Community Design, Environmental Health, Strategic Planning, Zoning


Institutional Author:

Regional Plan Association





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.