Healthy Places by Design Project


Healthy Places by Design seeks to strengthen land use, transportation and urban design policies and local ordinances that guide the decision making process for the built environment to be more supportive of health, particularly as it relates to physical activity and healthy eating.

What We Do

  • Incorporate healthy community policies in local comprehensive planning and zoning practices
  • Promote active lifestyles in communities throughout Rhode Island

Key Focus Areas

  • The Healthy Communities Plan will provide policies and strategies for local municipalities to modify their Comprehensive Plans, zoning ordinances and other policies with the goal of improving walkability, safety, recreation options, transportation choices, and access to healthy foods.
  • The Healthy Communities Pilot Project will be a pilot project for HEALTH to award funding tothree municipalities, and their community-based organization partner. The goal of this project is for communities to implement changes to local policies in support of physical activity and access to healthy food. HEALTH will provide training and technical assistance for municipalities and their partners to implement policy changes that improve the built environment effect on health by revising their Comprehensive Plans. Also, HEALTH will work to build capacity for healthier communities by empowering community-based organizations to assess their environments and advocate for change.
  • The Healthy Communities Toolkit will provide municipalities with resources for implementing the goals and strategies outlined in the Healthy Communities Plan into their Comprehensive Plans. The toolkit will include assessment tools, model ordinances, design guidelines, and detailed information on how to implement specific strategies, such as complete streets and safe routes to school.
  • Conduct a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Counter Marketing Campaign with the goal of reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Rhode Island. The objectives of the campaign are to create behavior-change strategies to promote alternatives to SSB consumption; and to create messaging that inspires public support for SSB limitation strategies and policies.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $372.8 million to 44 communities through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Actís Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants intended to support communities in making the policy, environmental, and system changes that are necessary for obesity and tobacco prevention. We have been awarded funding to assist local municipalities with the implementation of healthy community policies in their comprehensive planning and zoning practices.