Built Environment

The environments that surround us significantly impact the choices we make. When we build our communities with health impacts in mind, we make it easier for every person in New Hampshire to eat healthy foods and be physically active.

New Hampshire’s planners, local governments, recreation professionals and transportation providers have the responsibility to build healthy places and foster lifestyles of wellness in our communities.






Plan NH has a mission to foster “excellence in sustainable planning, design and development of the built environment.” They champion Smart Growth and its principles for the state to achieve a vision of livable, vibrant village centers and neighborhoods.

Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA) advocates for the use, maintenance and development of trails in the region. They aim to build the most comprehensive trail resource available for the Upper Valley. Any season of the year, you can log on and find a trail to enjoy.

NH Parks & Recreation is comprised of management components that make up the Division's mission in the state.The Division manages 92 properties' campgrounds, beaches, natural areas, waysides, historic sites and recreational trails.

Policy Analysis: Helping to Achieve Healthier Communities
Evaluating public policy so that it fulfills community vision. This document is intended to provide a tool for municipalities to assess their regulations 

Dartmouth Hood Center for Children & Families identifies characteristics of the home, school, and community environments that influence physical activity levels and dietary patterns in adolescents and parents. Additionally, they are examining the prevalence of food brand placements in movies and the impact of TV food/beverage marketing on adolescents.

Center for Active Living & Healthy Communities was created by Plymouth State University to address health problems related to inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. The Center aims to enhance active living, health and wellness in New Hampshire’s North Country and Lakes Region through education, research and community partnerships. Through the PEARL Project the Center is examining the factors that influence rural-community residents’ physical-activity behaviors.

The Carsey Institute at UNH conducts policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development. They give policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities.

Rails to Trails Conservancy
Creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

Ontario Professional Planners Institute
They prepare position statements, policy papers, and other documents on matters of interest to planners. Their website outlines the Healthy Communities Initiative which aims to promote and support healthy communities throughout Ontario.

CDC: Designing and Building Healthy Places
The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions.

Active Living by Design
Creates community-led change by working with local and national partners to build a culture of active living and healthy eating.

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