Plan4Health - Project in Pictures

Plan4Health is a joint program between the American Planning Assocication and the American Public Health Association to build stronger collaboration between planners and public health professionals. This year, WALKSacramento and the Design 4 Active Sacramento Coalition led a project to advance Active Design implementation across Sacramento County.

Engaging and Empowering Residents in South Sacramento

Critical to the success of Active Design in the Sacramento region are community groups and residents who are active in the planning processes and decisions that shape their neighborhoods.

Designing Healthier Communities with La Familia

Design 4 Active Sacramento teamed up with partners that include La Familia Counseling Center, The Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, VG Consulting, and the North Franklin Business District to engage residents in a meaningful conversations about what active transportation improvements in their community mean for health.


WALKSacramento worked with over 100 students across two high school in South Sacramento to explore how the design of their communities impacts their health as teenagers. We led walk audits and design charrettes with both groups of students and led them in creating year-end projects that explored ways to improve design in their neighborhood to improve physical activity. 

One group of students interested in bus stops reached out to Regional Transit and were successful in getting RT to install new bus stops, lighting, sign posts, and cut back overgrowth. This was truly a transformative project for these students and D4AS. 


"Dabbling by Design" with the Girl Scouts!

Teaming up with the Girls Scouts of America, WALKSacramento led a design workshop with some of Sacramento's brightest minds. We worked with the girls to envision what a truly healthy community looked like. Here are some of their thoughts:

  • Parks
  • Places to walk my dog
  • Homes for the homeless
  • Schools that we can walk to
  • Lots of color
  • Lighting
  • Places to play
  • Places where we feel safe

Walk, Bike, and Active Design Assessments

Design 4 Active Sacramento teamed up with the Oak Park, Fruitridge Manor, and Avondale Glen Elder Neighborhood Associations to analyze conditions for pedestrians and people on bikes. These older, red-lined communities are slowly recovering from years of disinvestment. Active transportation improvements are a key factor in supporting residents in these communities, especially for those accessing jobs and healthcare services.


AARP Mayoral Forum

Partnering with AARP, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Breathe CA, and the Sacramento Housing Alliance, Design 4 Active Sacramento worked to hold an educational mayoral forum entirely framed around health and the built environment. This is the first forum in Sacramento and the first that AARP has held that focuses on health outcomes and access to opportunity as a result of built environment policies. This was a great way to engage residents and elected officials in a discussion about the way we design communities.

Neighborhood Policy Forum

WALKSacramento teamed up with VG Consulting and Design 4 Active Sacramento, to hold a Neighborhood Policy Forum with community leaders across the Sacramento region to identify shared obstacles, goals, and opportunities related to health and the built environment. The intention of the forum was to identify a set of key policy areas to focus on for the next year at the neighborhood level. The forum was also critical in lifting up resident concerns about community design within the Sacramento Mayoral Forum.


Education and Policy Change

Design 4 Active Sacramento worked with planners and public health professionals throughout the region, state, and country to advance Active Design through education and policy change.


2016 Speaker Series - Partnering for Health

Partnering with the Sacramento Valley Section of the American Planning Association, Design 4 Active Sacramento worked to frame the 2016 professional speakers entirely around healthy communities. The Speaker Series reached over 250 planning and public health professionals from around the region and covered topics from general plans to environmental planning, to community based planning around health and design.

Spread the Message

A major part of creating a movement around designing healthier communities has been through consistent communication with our partners about the work that is being accomplished, new best practices at the local, state, and national levels, and opportunities for ongoing education around Active Design and health integration. D4AS' newsletters have reached over 2,500 professional planners and health professionals.

  • September 2016 Issue #1

    D4AS’ first newsletter introducing Design 4 Active Sacramento, Plan4Health, and upcoming opportunities to learn more about this work. Read the Newsletter

  • October 2016 Issue #2

    A follow-up issue sharing information about recent D4AS accomplishments and upcoming nation-wide conference being held in Sacramento to advance innovations in the Transportation and Health sectors. Read the Newsletter


Quantifying the Health Impact

As a follow up to the highly successful May Public Health Officer and Planning Director convening, D4AS held a transportation and health convening with planners and engineers throughout the region to identify ways to quantify the impact of transportation projects on health. D4AS invited the creators of the ITHIM tool to discuss efforts to apply the health quantification method to more local projects.

Other Educational Events

Throughout the Plan4Health project, D4AS either held or were invited to additional educational events to share best practices related to health the built environment and topics such as climate change, transportation funding, and elderly issues. These events were vital in expanding the D4AS mission to new partners including the aging community and private sector developers and consultants. 


ULA Active Transportation and Real Estate

National and Statewide Roundtable Webinars

Sponsoring Street Lights Conference


Analyzing Active Design Policies Across the County

Critical to advancing new policies related to Active Design was an initial policy scan of policies and guidelines already present at the local level. D4AS worked with the Cities of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova to assess existing policies and encourage implementation off additional guidelines related to health. These scans are the backbone of successful technical assistance around policy.

Sharing our work

Consistent communication about this work helped to build champions, sustain a county-wide movement toward health and the built environment, and refine messaging around our healthy communities work.

  • P4H August Convening (1)
  • P4H August Convening (3)
  • P4H August Convening
  • P4H August Convening (2)
  • P4H August Convening (4)
  • P4H August Convening (5)

Regional Plan4Health Convening

D4AS was lucky to host a regional convening of Plan4Health Coalitions in Sacramento. It was an honor to expose our colleagues to the great work being implemented in Sacramento both by D4AS and our affiliated partners.


Articles and Awards

  • Y-PLAN program pushes students to change local policy

    In Y-PLAN, or Youth – Plan, Learn, Act, Now, students choose a problem, are matched up with a civic organization, then conduct research and surveys that are presented to local leaders and policy makers. Read More

  • CalPlanner - Healthy Community Planning 2.0

    In recent years, urban planners have become increasingly aware of the negative and positive public health implications of our policies, plans, and projects. Read More

  • Plan4Health: Design 4 Active Sacramento Coalition

    Design4Active Sacramento (D4AS) seeks to create communities built for health and unites a range of professions to create streets that are conducive to safe walking, biking, and living through active design. Read More

  • Sacramento Codifies Healthy Design at All Scales

    Sacramento County is one of the pioneering regions to have successfully introduced Active Design into a comprehensive array of building and planning policies, most notably the updated zoning code that was adopted in July 2015. Read More

  • Active Design Needs Active Communities, Part I: Sacramento

    “Active design is an approach to the design of communities that promotes physical activity,” explains Kirin Kumar, project manager at WALKSacramento. Read More

  • D4AS Wins Center for Active Design Excellence Award

    In recognition of Design 4 Active Sacramento’s work to embed Active Design policies into the Sacramento County General Plan and to extend this work to other communties, the Center for Active Design awards D4AS an Excellence award. See the 2016 Winners

Building collaboration between Planning and Public Health

The major goal of Design 4 Active Sacramento’s work under the Plan4Health grant has been to support and sustain collaboration between health professionals and planners at the local and regional levels. Through regional convenings as well as project-based technical assistance, D4AS has helped establish several working partnerships across the County, including ones that have helped win transportaion funding.

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  • Photo Board

Public Health Officer and Planning Director Convening

In May, 2016, D4AS convened the state’s first meeting of regional Public Health Officers and Planning Directors to discuss shared objectives, goals, barriers, and opportunities for collaboration. For many, this was the first time meeting one another.


Statewide convening in Monterrey

Led by the CCLHO/CHEAC project of the California Department of Public Health, D4AS helped to organize a second, follow-up convening that expanded collaborative efforts in Sacramento to the entire state. The Monterey convening reached planning and public health professionals in over 15 jurisdicitions around California.

  • Statewide Convening (1) (1)
  • Statewide Convening
  • Statewide Convening
  • Photo PHO's and SACOG Region Household Travel Survey 10-19-16
  • Photo Sac City County Air District Health & Planning Meeting 10-19-16
  • Building Collabortation through Policy
  • Board of Sups recognition - Awards and Recognitions

Normalizing Collaboration

In addition to hosting several convenings, D4AS worked to build and sustain collaboration throughout the Plan4Health period. Often catalyzing cross-sector dialogue around pertinent issues, D4AS worked with the City of Sacramento, a regional collaborative of public health and planning professionals, and local engineers and public health educators to establish regular working group meetings.