The design of the places where we live, work and play affects our health by determining our access to healthy foods and health care services, our ability to be physically active, and the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
MDH promotes the design of healthy places by:
- Incorporating health into Comprehensive Plans: Comp plans are a vision of how communities will look in the future, addressing healthy design at the start is the most effective and proactive approach
- Addressing health in Minnesota's Environmental Review: Environmental review can incorporate environmental health and healthy design before a project receives permit approvals to ensure final decisions are made with the best information to simultaneously promote human health and economic development
- Conducting Health Impact Assessments on the built environment: A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) assesses the effects of a proposed plan, project or program on the health of populations and makes recommendations to promote positive health effects and mitigate negative health effects
- Providing tools and guidance for Brownfields and Public Health: Brownfields are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial properties. Redeveloping brownfields can improve public health by preventing exposure to hazardous substances and increase community connectivity.