Health and the Built Environment
Public health is largely a product of the social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people live, work and play. These conditions are effected by policies and practices of many sectors of society, most of which are not under the control of public health professionals. The recognition of such various drivers of health, as well as, the social and economic consequences of the nation’s declining health has led many federal, state and local agencies to take a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach. A HiAP approach aims to address poor health outcomes through disease prevention, rather than just focusing treatment or interventions on those that are already sick. Under the HiAP approach, transportation and land use agencies are considered to be best- positioned to create policies and practices that promote healthy communities and environments.
SCAG's Commitment to Health
As a regional planning agency, SCAG is in a unique position to engage with various stakeholders throughout the region to advance health-conscious transportation and land use planning practices. The built environment impacts the below social determinants of health, most of which have been considered in regional planning for decades. However, a more focused health "lens" on planning has brought new partners, resources, tools and awareness to the magnitude of these determinants on the health and quality of life of Southern Californians:
- Transportation safety
- Opportunities for physical activity
- Air quality
- Climate resilience
- Equitable access to essential destinations
- Regional economic prosperity
The 2013 Public Health Subcommittee Recommendations
The implementation of the 2012 RTP/SCS prompted the formation of the Public Health Subcommittee, which outlined recommendations addressing the promotion of active transportation, enhancement of public health data, and engagement in collaborations:
The Public Health Work Program
In accordance with the recommendations of the Public Health Subcommittee, SCAG collaborated with regional stakeholders to develop policy recommendations that further define SCAG’s role in public health:
2016 RTP/SCS Public Health Analysis Framework
SCAG’s Public Health Analysis Framework is an overarching framework for more thoroughly integrating public health analysis and policies into the 2016 RTP/SCS.
2016 RTP/SCS Public Health Appendix
The draft of the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy Public Health Appendix provides a framework for integrating public health into land use and transportation planning and explores the potential health outcomes of the Plan.