Date of Award

5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)

Legacy Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Nocks, Barry

Committee Member

Nocks , Barry

Committee Member

Griffin , Sarah

Committee Member

Dyckman , Caitlin

Abstract

The failure of traditional health models to successfully combat childhood obesity is apparent when considering its sustained prevalence in the United States. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades and health officials recognize the need for integrative strategies in order to reverse the trend (CDC, 2010). The historical roots of planning and public health offer a potential venue for collaborative strategies to address the macro level factors that affect community health. This thesis examines how planning tools have been adapted to incorporate health strategies, whether or not such methods are sustainable, and what relationships are essential for the creation and implementation of such strategies. Using a mixed methodology, this research asks and answers the following questions: 'What strategies are planners using to address community health?' and 'How active are planners throughout the Southeast in deliberately implementing such strategies?' The initial hypothesis is while planners may touch on community health through broader means, there is a lack of plan and strategy specificity and implementation in addressing community health concerns through traditional planning tools. In order to successfully adapt planning tools to address community health, collaboration between key stakeholders is needed: planners and public health officials. Articulation of stakeholders' roles as well as the overall structure of such methods will enable planners to serve a more active role in the creation of health strategies.

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