The Field of Planning deals with the design and regulation of land use and transportation systems while projecting future outcomes and bringing together technical, political and economic processes. In the early 1900s, planning and public health professionals worked together to protect public health and prevent the spread of disease by developing zoning laws to influence the built environment. However, the disciplines followed different paths with public health focusing on a clinical model, and planning on policy development and physical form. These two fields are re-connecting now as many chronic diseases are associated with the built environment and the individual behaviors that cumulatively lead to negative health outcomes.
Connections between Planning and Public Health generally fall in the domains of design to promote activity, policies to foster equity and safety, and programs that focus on social, mental, and physical health dealing with issues such as food access, connectivity, and physical activity.
BEPHC provides interdisciplinary undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education curriculum at the intersection of Planning and Public Health. This curriculum is flexible enough to be offered as a full semester course, individual units or single class modules or individual assignments. Additionally, this website offers links to helpful websites, organizations, conferences, videos, and other web resources.
BEPHC also offers lists of colleges and universities divided into four tiers. Tier one schools have planning faculty with a specialization in public health. Tier two schools have planning programs that offer a course connecting the built environment and public health and in most cases it is cross-listed between two school units. Tier three schools have planning programs that offer a course on the intersection of the built environment and planning and opportunities for students to concentrate coursework at this intersection and/or earn a certificate or specialization upon completion of an approved curriculum. Tier four schools include planning programs that offer items from Tiers 1, 2 and 3 in addition to a dual degree in planning and public health.