Other Resources for Planning Professionals

Data & Visualization  |  Guidelines & Best Practices  |  Research Portals  |  Web Tools  |  Organizations  |  Other Resources

Data & Visualization

  • Atlanta's Neighborhood Quality of Life and Health Index represents a multi-attribute Quality of Life and Health data compilation that assesses neighborhood level, place-based amenities and the state of community wellbeing across Atlanta’s neighborhoods.
  • County Health Rankings. This website provides 2010 County Health Rankings with a variety of data points including health outcomes (mortality and morbidity) and health factors (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment).
  • EPA's EnviroAtlas is a collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services.
  • The Food Access Research Atlas presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility;provides food access data for populations within census tracts; and offers census-tract-level data on food access that can be downloaded for community planning or research purposes.
  • Gapminder This website allows you to select and compare health indicators across different locations, demographics and time periods. Another excellent tool for data visualization, data sets are illustrated as maps, graphs, and animations.
  • Information is Beautiful. David McCandless transforms data sets, many related to health, environment and government, into interesting and creative graphics. Our favorites include “Snake Oil? Scientific Evidence for Popular DietarySupplements” and “When Sea Levels Attack!”.
  • Walk Score. This website ranks the walkability of neighborhoods in the largest 40 U.S. cities.

Guidelines & Best Practices

Research Portals

  • Active Living Research. Contains information about research, grants, tools and resources for researchers, practitioners and community advocates whose work supports the growing evidence base on active living.
  • Center for Design and Health Wiki offers an integration of design and health research ranging from the regional to the building scales. It is your source for a cross cutting perspective on actual causes of death as they relate to the built environment with a focus on aesthetic and urban form dimensions impacting health outcomes.
  • Designed to Move provides information about the global decline in physical activity, as well as resource toolkits and programs that can be used to break or prevent cycles of physical inactivity.
  • InformeDesign. This website contains links to design research literature, organized by type of space, design topic and occupants/user types.
  • Open Space. This site contains links to publications, literature reviews and research projects that relate to this organization’s goal of promoting inclusive access to outdoor environments.
  • Research Design Connections. An online publication whose articles deal with “person-centered design” and environmental psychology.
  • The University of the West of England (UWE) Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment. This site features links to case studies, news and current research in public health, environmental science and planning, with an emphasis on the integration of policy and delivery at national and international levels.

Web Tools

  • Choosing Visualization for Transportation. The Federal Transit Admisitration’s Public Transportation Participation Pilot (PTPP) program funded this site as a “one-stop resources for learning about and selecting visualization tools for effective public participation.”
  • Community Toolbox. This website provides free information and training on how to build healthy communities.


  • America Walks  America Walks is leading the way in making America a great place to walk. They provide a voice for walking and walkable communities with federal agencies, provide strategy support, training and technical assistance to statewide, regional, and local organizations, and serve as the convener of the national Every Body Walk! Collaborative.  The site's Learning Center features both technical and advocacy resources.
  • American Planning Association’s Healthy Community Interest Group is a coalition of APA members interested in or actively engaged in the planning and development of healthy, sustainable communities.
  • American Planning Association's Planning and Community Health Center is dedicated to understanding how the built environment affects public health. Through applied research, partnerships, and education, this center supports the integration of health into planning practice at all levels.
  • CDC's Built Environment and Health Initiative (also known as the Healthy Community Design 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.
  • Let’s Move: The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity
  • The Prevention Institute  brings research, practice, and analysis to today’s pressing health and safety concerns. Resources including a downloadable pdf titled The Built Environment and Health: 11 Profiles of Community Transformation (2004)
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working with leaders in public health, community development and other sectors to transform the built environment in ways that make communities healthier, and make it easier for people to lead healthier lives.
  • The Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF) is a public interest organization that produces learning events about climate security, which we define as the threats to society from a changing  climate and related disruptions to natural systems.  Their main products are free webinars that convene global experts on food and water security, public health, economic vitality, infrastructure, governance and other impacts that must be solved in meeting climate security challenges.
  • Therapeutic Landscapes Network. A wide-ranging source of information on therapeutic landscapes.
  • WHO Healthy Cities Network. Three core themes: caring and supportive environments, healthy living and healthy urban design guide this WHO initiative which creates a network among European cities already committed to healthy cities and offers resources and tools to cities who seek to join.

Other Resources

  • A Vision for Protecting Children's Environmental Health  Children's Environmental Health Network hosted leaders from across sectors to discuss how children are impacted by environmental hazards at Wingspread, headquarters of the Johnson Foundation.  Together, they drafted a vision for prioritizing children's health in policy and design decisions.
  • Climate Change Creates Public Health Costs  Melissa Block speaks with Brian Stone, director of the Urban Climate Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology, about the public health effects of climate change on NPR's All Things Considered.
  • Designing Better Places Video Presentation investigates why some places are walkable and others are not, and what can be done to create more successful and inviting places that people and cars can share.
  • Educational Consulting Resources: Dr. L. Dee Fink
  • Green Cities: Green Health. This web site provides an overview of the scientific evidence of human health and well-being benefits provided by urban forestry and urban greening.
  • Health and Safety Information on Household Products. Provides information on products (including construction materials) that have low health-risk scores as compiled by the National Institutes of Health, ranking products from 0 (minimal health risk) through 4 (severe for health risk).
  • Integrating Health into Scenario Planning Lawrence Frank, president of Urban Design 4 Health, outlines the need for evidence based tools to evaluate health impacts of land development and transportation investments, and looks at two UD4H approaches to health modeling in California.
  • Walking is Going Places  Jay Walljasper, author and speaker, provides a report on the unexpected rise of foot power as a social trend, transportation innovation and path to happiness.
  • Why We Need Climate, Health, and Equity in All Policies  A commentary by Linda Rudolph and Solange Gould of the Public Health Institute on the importance of addressing climate, health, and equity in all policies, and the common roots of the three issues.
Map of Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of City and Regional Planning
245 4th St
Atlanta, GA 30332

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse was supported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of the National Prevention Strategy and Healthy Community Design Program and made possible through additional support from the American Public Health Association, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and the American Planning Association's Planning and Community Health Research Center. Interested in adding to and supporting the Clearinghouse? Contact the Clearinghouse at bephc@gatech.edu.