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Community design refers to all the elements of a community that are human-made and form the physical characteristics of that community.  This includes buildings (schools, workplaces, and homes), roads, parks, recreation areas and transportation systems.

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHT) contains data on the following indicators related to community design:

  • Access to Parks and Public Schools
  • Motor vehicle-related fatalities
  • Proximity to highways
  • Types of transportation to work
  • Air quality (Ozone and PM5)
  • Childhood lead poisoning

Healthy community design helps reduce illness and suffering associated with lifestyle risk behaviors by encouraging healthy lifestyles, such as physical activity and healthy eating.   Planning and designing communities that make it easier for people to live healthy lives is what it’s all about.  Learn more about the indicators in your area at www.cdc.gov/ephtracking.

What Are the Health Benefits of Healthy Community Design?

Well-designed communities improve public health. The design and maintenance of our communities can provide opportunities to incorporate routine physical activity into our everyday lives, cleaner air, lower risk of injury from vehicle accidents, and decreased effects of climate change.  Visit the National EPHT Network to learn more: www.cdc.gov/ephtracking

Written By:


EPHT Program Manager and Epidemiologist in the Bureau of Environmental Health

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