Metrics for Planning Healthy Communities


  • Planning metrics to measure community health and the benefits and limitations of these tools
  • How to acquire, organize, use, and track data to measure community health 
  • Communities that have used metrics successfully to advance healthy changes 
  • How to design metrics systems in your community, or strengthen the use of metrics with a health lens 


Planning professionals have the power to improve community health by shaping land use, development, housing, transportation, and environments where people live, work, and play. When planners partner with other sectors, the potential to improve public health multiplies; therefore, it is critical that planners document, measure, and track built environment elements known to be key determinants of health, such as sidewalk distribution, access to healthy foods, and new development pressures.

This course examines how to use APA’s Healthy Planning Metrics to both integrate health objectives into planning practice and build bridges among various community stakeholders. The experts who developed this new tool will explain how to use metrics to assess, measure, monitor, and report progress toward shared multi-sector goals. Case studies will illustrate how to use proxy metrics where local data may be tough to acquire.