Toolkit for a Healthy Delaware—bringing communities and health together

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The Toolkit for a Healthy Delaware, developed by the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, provides user-friendly information and tools for local governments to assess their municipalities’ opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods and environments.  While the toolkit was created with local governments in mind, many of the concepts herein are appropriate for community leaders and citizens alike.

If you are a local government official and the healthy communities concept is new to you and your colleagues, we suggest that you check out the Introduction page.

photo of cover of Healthy Communities: A Resource Guide for Delaware MunicipaltiesTo begin investigating one of the main design principles for healthy communities—walkability, please refer to the sections on Getting Started, Planning, Active Communities, and Environments.  These sections were originally developed as part of Healthy Communities: A Resource Guide for Delaware Municipalities, and were devised to demonstrate how improving the walkability of a community can lead to environmental, health, and economic benefits.

Access to Healthy Foods explains the impact of the “built environment” on food choices and provides local governments with tools and tactics for promoting greater access to healthy foods. 

cover of the Complete Streets publicationThe Complete Streets section offers background for local leaders on planning, designing, and maintaining roadways for multimodal transportation as well as state policy while focusing on implementation strategies for towns and cities. It is based largely on an IPA transportation publication Complete Streets in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments.

The Comprehensive Plan Assessment section is intended for use in writing or updating a community’s comprehensive plan to include public health objectives. 

The Health-Impact Assessment section can be used to help municipalities determine how existing or planned land use, community design, and transportation policies affect the public’s health. You can also review a summary of the recent HIA conducted in Delaware for Fort DuPont (in PDF format).

Smoke-Free Delaware is a section that guides municipalities in developing policies that protect its residents' health through creation of more smoke-free public spaces.

In addition to the broad planning approach to walkability outlined in the first four sections of the toolkit, the Walkability Assessment section is made available to assist local officials in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their town’s walkability. Also see the "Exercise by Accident” video segment of WHYY TV's April 6, 2012, weekly show "First" (note: this link takes you off site).

“Community achievements in the areas of policy, systems, and environmental changes have far-reaching implications by serving as models that can be replicated nationwide to improve the health of young people, adults, families, and underserved populations.”
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009
Publications on or linked to from these pages are downloadable in PDF and are indicated with PDF icon. Download Adobe Reader now if you don't have version 6.0 or higher of this free software. Also see instructions on viewing/downloading PDF files.


Note: Please be aware that many of the links on this site will actually take you off of this site.

photo credits on this site: Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, Delaware Department of Transportation, Sustainable Coastal Communities, Mike Mahaffie (Government Information Center), Delaware Division of Public Health, Greg Hughes (Government Information Center), and Mark Deshon (IPA)