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Urban Planning-Zoning Approaches to Facilitate Healthy Eating

Resources and Tools


  • Healthy Communities Toolkit (Michigan Department of Community Health)
    This nutrition and environmental assessment toolkit addresses policy, community design and planning, building coalitions, and working with the media. The toolkit also includes resources, tools, templates, reproducible materials, and links to helpful websites.

  • Healthy Women Build Healthy Communities Toolkit (Bright Futures for Women’s Health and Wellness, United States Department of Health and Human Services)
    This toolkit is designed to help women plan, execute and evaluate healthy eating and/or physical activity events in their community. Topics include the 10 building blocks of planning a community activity, resources, and examples for community-wide initiatives.

  • The Healthy Communities Toolkit (Washington State Department of Health)
    The Healthy Communities Toolkit captures the lessons learned from the cities of Moses Lake and Mount Vernon as they engaged their communities to create environments that made it easier for residents to be physically active and choose healthy foods.

Food Retail

  • Equitable Development Toolkit: Healthy Food Retailing (PolicyLink)
    This online tool focuses on increasing access to retail outlets that sell nutritious, affordable food in low-income communities of color. This tool discusses three of the most promising strategies: developing new grocery stores, improving the selection and quality of food in existing smaller stores, and starting and sustaining farmers' markets.

  • ENACT Strategy: Improve Transportation Options to Supermarkets and Other Large Food Outlets (The Prevention Institute)
    This collection of resources is designed to help community leaders facilitate access to food outlets. It includes characteristics of transportation strategies, model programs, and evidence-based references.

  • General Plans and Zoning: A Toolkit on Land Use and Health (Public Health Law and Policy)
    This toolkit, designed for nutrition and other public health advocates, provides a fundamental, introductory understanding of how land use decisions are made and shows how advocates can effectively participate in those decisions.

  • Economic Development and Redevelopment: A Toolkit on Land Use and Health (Public Health Law and Policy)
    This toolkit, designed for nutrition and other public health advocates, provides resources to improve the food access in low-income neighborhoods. The toolkit gives a fundamental, introductory understanding of the economic development and redevelopment tools available, their use, and shows how to effectively participate in decisions about their use.

Farmers’ Markets and Community Gardens

  • Homegrown: South Carolina’s Guide to Starting or Enhancing Your Community’s Farmers Market (Eat Smart Move More South Carolina)
    This manual covers the basics of Farmers’ Market planning, management, funding, location, vendors and operations. It addresses specific details including: legal, liability, food safety and government issues as well as marketing/communication, economic development, community involvement and special events. There are tips for media involvement and market branding, sections for key contacts, and additional resources for more information.

  • Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers’ Markets (NPLAN: National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity)
    This set of model land use policies is intended to present ways to create and promote farmers’ markets and contains a comprehensive model that helps communities create more opportunities for farmers' markets.

  • Community Garden Start-Up Guide (University of California Cooperative Extension)
    This "Community Garden Start-Up Guide" is intended to help neighborhood groups and organizations along the path to starting and sustaining a community garden.