Unit 1: Planning and Public Health Foundations

The first unit, Planning and Public Health Foundations, provides students with an overview of both fields, from their origins to the present. Emphasizing the first learning goal, foundational knowledge, this unit orients students to core values and histories of both fields and interdisciplinary connections. Two weeks are devoted to teaching this unit.

Learning Goal

Foundational Knowledge. Understand public health and planning history, evolution and significant movements to the present, and historical and current theories on the relationship between the built environment and public health.

Unit Topics

  • Planning History
  • Public Health History
  • Interdisciplinary Applications

Suggested Readings

Books (select chapters)

  • Frumkin H, Frank L, Jackson R. Urban sprawl and public health: designing, planning, and building for healthy communities. Washington DC: Island Press, 2004.
  • Kawachi I, Berkman LF. Neighborhoods and health. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Morris M, Duncan R, Hannaford K, et al. Integrating planning and public health. Chicago: APA Planning Advisory Service, 2006.


In- and Out-of-class Assignments

  • Local neighborhood case study
  • Campus and neighborhood walkability assessment
Map of Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of City and Regional Planning
245 4th St
Atlanta, GA 30332

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse was supported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of the National Prevention Strategy and Healthy Community Design Program and made possible through additional support from the American Public Health Association, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and the American Planning Association's Planning and Community Health Research Center. Interested in adding to and supporting the Clearinghouse? Contact the Clearinghouse at bephc@gatech.edu.