New Report Helps Local Communities Build Healthy, Inclusive Public Spaces


7/31/18 As the Sacramento region recovers from the recession and development increases, it’s increasingly important for us to grow smartly, and create vibrant communities in all parts of our region. Inclusive public spaces consider all modes of transportation and access in order to foster healthy and resilient communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a leading national health philanthropy, recently partnered with the Gehl Institute to study healthy public spaces and develop a framework of four principles to guide decision making.  The principles bring together best practices from public health and planning professionals. Many communities have started to test new principles and practices like these through temporary pop-ups.

The Guiding Principles of Inclusive Healthy Places introduced in the report and framework outline four distinct but interrelated areas in which public space intersects with health equity and inclusion:

  • Principle 1 – Recognize community context by cultivating knowledge of the existing conditions, assets, and lived experiences that relate to health equity.
  • Principle 2 – Support inclusion in the processes that shape public space by promoting civic trust, participation, and social capital.
  • Principle 3 – Design and program public space for health equity by improving quality, enhancing access and safety, and inviting diversity.
  • Principle 4 – Foster social resilience and capacity of local communities to engage with changes in place over time by promoting representation, agency, and stability.

For more information visit RWJF Senior Program Officer Sharon Roerty’s blog post on the principles.