"Healthy by Design" Workbook Earns Accolades for SSU's Center for Sustainable Communities

2011awardslogo.jpegSSU's Center for Sustainable Communities has been recognized with an academic achievement award by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association for the Healthy by Design: A Public Policy and Land Use Planning Workbook.

The award recognizes interim director Thomas Jacobson, along with CSC team member Wayne Goldberg who was critical to section and state award submissions.

The workbook highlights Sonoma County's experience with chronic disease and the growing obesity epidemic, an important impetus for the project. It focuses on eight main topics in which land planning can improve public health in these areas: access to open space and outdoor recreation, access to health food, walkable communities, opportunities to bicycle, senior health, youth health, air quality and health care.

The workbook is an important resource in an effort to strengthen the connection between local land use planning and community efforts. Increasingly, evidence points to a relationship between community health and the environment-- access to healthy, affordable food, parks and open space, public transportation, safe routes to school and services are a few factors that impact individual choices and behaviors.

The project was a collaborative effort that included the CSC, planning directors from the County of Sonoma, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services and the County's Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and involved four students as research assistants.

This past spring, an Academic Achievement award from the Northern Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the CSC program in a highly competitive category that included universities such as Stanford, UC Berkeley and Cap Poly SLO, among others. See http://www.norcalapa.org/pages/career/career_awards.htm.

The workbook is available online at www.healthysonoma.org.

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