The purpose of this guide is to provide strategies to help local planners improve health in their communities through land use design, transportation and community development. The document is broken down into twelve different categories of promising strategies used by local governments to improve overall public health. The it discusses how communities can measure progress after implementing these policies. This document focuses on centering the built environment around a walkable/bikeable community with complete streets policies, safe routes for children to get to school, connected roadways and rebuilding parks and recreational places in walking distance. The document also discusses how communities can improve their access to healthier food options, preserve farm land, expand community gardens and urban agriculture and ensure that grocery stores accommodate people who require government assistance (SNAP or WIC).
The authors also include information on land use policies which allow mixed-use and mixed-income development to promote neighborhoods with high-density to reduce emissions, traffic and improve social cohesion amongst its members. Other topics discusses include violence prevention, climate change, current political opportunities, federal funding services and parks and recreation. Each key strategy provides a list of partners, which could include local government organizations, specific community members or even youths, that could be helpful for a community to accomplish their public health goals.