Inspiration and Implementation

The 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference:
An Opportunity for Inspiration and Implementation of National Healthy Communities Initiatives

Last year’s New Partners for Smart Growth (NPSG) annual conference, included a healthy communities forum that served as the springboard for the development of a National Healthy Communities Platform (NHCP)—an endeavor supported by organizations including the American Planning Association, the American Public Health Association and the Local Government Commission.  Since then, the feedback gathered during the event has been compiled and a strategy for preparing an initial draft and outreach to key stakeholders is under development.  Part of that strategy includes building upon two major milestones recently completed by the American Planning Association:

  1. The Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities—an effort that brings together eight national organizations—including the American Institute of ArchitectsAmerican Planning AssociationAmerican Public Health AssociationAmerican Society of Civil EngineersAmerican Society of Landscape ArchitectsNational Recreation and Park AssociationS. Green Building Council, and Urban Land Institute—calling upon members to collaborate with one another to create healthier, more equitable communities.
  2. American Planning Association’s Healthy Communities Policy Guide which identifies policy ideas for local, state, and federally elected officials aimed at improving community health and quality of living through planning.

During this year’s NPSG’s conference, the NHCP will be reinvigorated during the conference’s new format.  Instead of attending sessions solely by topic as previous conferences, the eight conference tracks will provide participants with an opportunity for a more dynamic, hands-on learning experience. Each track is designed to create a cohort of practitioners that will acquire the latest tools, strategies, models and templates to integrate into their work.

The Healthy Communities track has a stellar line-up of sessions and speakers, starting with a context-setting session entitled “Action Partnerships for Healthier and More Equitable Communities.”  The presenters will provide highlights from the healthy communities movement, a NHCP recap, the four pillars of the APA’s Joint Call to Action and a discussion of the unintended consequences of community design and promising practices for development without displacement.  The session will also include a lively conversation with the panelists and a small group discussion to prime the track’s final implementation workshop.

Lastly, to complement the track, organizers compiled a list of pre-conference resources including key toolkits, policies, and frameworks that advance the healthy planning movement.

Download the Building Healthy Communities Resources PDF