New CDC Community Focuses on Health Impact Assessments


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a free Community of Practice for planners, landscape architects, architects, and other design professionals conducting health impact assessments (HIA). According to CDC, the mission of their new Web site is to “increase the use of HIA to inform policy decisions that shape the built environment and make healthy lifestyle choices easy choices.” The health organization wants membership to be broad based because “those working in design, architecture, engineering, and planning fields play a critical role in developing and promoting healthy communities.”

CDC’s PhConnect Web site provides members with opportunities to network with other researchers and practitioners, post discussions, events, and announcements, as well as collaborate on documents. Some key goals include “developing and supporting HIA best practices, lessons learned, and standards for conducting an HIA.”

HIA is a relatively new process but more practitioners are looking to apply these methods. Clearly, the CDC wants an interdisciplinary set of policymakers, health and design professionals to contribute to this burgeoning field and share their ideas, reports, and projects.

To become a member, go to the Web site and click on “join now” if you are not already a member of phConnect. Members can then search by community to find the “Health Impact Assessment CoP.” Membership is free and open to all. 

Learn more about how health impact assessments (HIA) can be used in landscape architecture projects. Also, check out ASLA’s sustainability toolkit on social models.

Image credit: ASLA 2010 Professional Honor Award. Tianjin Qiaoyuan Park: The Adaptation Palettes. Turenscape and Peking University Graduate School of Landscape Architecture / Cao Yang

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