Comprehensive plans (comp plans) are an important tool used by local governments to create a shared vision, community goals, and action steps to promote community wellbeing and conditions that shape public health. By focusing on a range of community components, such as land use, transportation, climate resilience, physical activity and healthy food access, comp plans can help create a road map for community development and growth to support health goals.
The Twin Cities Metro Area Healthy Community Planning Project (Project) reviewed a sample of Twin Cities metropolitan region 2040 comprehensive plans to assess how the plans address 11 public health indicators that are important for promoting healthy communities. This review included urban, suburban, and rural communities.
The Project was a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Climate and Health Program and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, and the Public Health Law Center (PHLC).
This webpage provides Project findings for each of the health indicators studied in the Project, in addition to an overview of the Project overview.This project is supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Minnesota Department of Health All photos used on this page are courtesy of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council
We recommend that you review the Project Overview materials first, as this introduces the Project and provides context for the following indicator webinars.
|Indicator-specific information summarizing Project findings are available, below:|
|Affordable Housing||Intense Rain Events and Flooding|
|Climate Change for At-Risk Populations||Mixed Use|
|Extreme Heat Events||Multimodal Transportation|
|Food Access||Public Recreational Opportunities|
|Greenhouse Gas Reduction||Transit-Oriented Development|
Indicator: Affordable Housing
The Affordable Housing indicator focuses on how municipalities plan for both for market-rate and low-and moderate housing developments through the local land-use approvals process, inclusionary housing policies, or incentives to encourage a range of affordable housing options.
Indicator: Climate Change for At-Risk Populations
The Climate Change for At-Risk Populations indicator focuses on climate equity and climate justice. These concepts provide a framework for addressing inequities in how different communities and populations are impacted by climate change and targeting interventions to address and improve these inequities.
Indicator: Extreme Heat Events
The Extreme Heat Events indicator considers how different communities plan to address extreme heat events in their comp plans. For this Project, an extreme heat event involves a series of unusually hot days outside of the historic norms. Extreme heat is often connected to the urban heat island effect.
Indicator: Food Access
The Food Access indicator focuses on plans that promote local food production and healthy food retail. Areas impacting food access in local communities can include urban agriculture, community gardens, hunger relief initiatives, farmers’ markets and other healthy food retail, and small-scale local food production.
Indicator: Greenhouse Gas Reduction
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction indicator focuses on how municipalities articulate targets or strategies for community-wide greenhouse gas reductions in their plans.
Indicator: Greenspace Preservation/Enhancement
The Greenspace Preservation/Enhancement indicator focuses on how municipalities are planning to protect environmental features such as wetlands and water bodies, reduce runoff which can lead to flooding, reduce the urban heat island effect, and promote opportunities for residents to connect to nature.
Indicator: Intense Rain Events and Flooding
The Intense Rain Events and Flooding indicator focuses on how municipalities plan to increase the resilience of the natural and built environment infrastructure for more intense rain events and associated flooding.
Indicator: Mixed Use
The Mixed Use indicator focuses on how municipalities approach development and integrate residential land uses with commercial uses. When properly implemented, mixed-use development can produce a greater number of housing options and types, increase affordability, create more efficient uses of land and infrastructure, and help meet population thresholds for transit and supportive services that improve walkability and active living.
Indicator: Multimodal Transportation
The Multimodal Transportation indicator focuses on systems and policies that accommodate various modes of travel (walking, bicycling, transit, automobile) and connections among different modes.
Indicator: Public Recreational Opportunities
The Public Recreational Opportunities indicator focuses on access to public recreational opportunities in local communities. This can include walkable and bikeable access to parks, greenspace, and trails, as well as expanding recreation opportunities, culturally appropriate programming, and including parks and trails in transportation networks.