When the place where we live makes it easy for everyone to exercise and eat well, fewer people will suffer from injury, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart and lung disease. Our goal is to help shape our communities to support health and well-being. To do this we:
- promote safe, pleasant and accessible places for all people to walk, roll or bicycle
- promote use of public transit
- ensure access to healthy and affordable food
- ensure safe, quality housing
We work with community organizations, municipal and regional planners, schools and health care providers. We begin with conversations to learn what is important to our community. From there, we find ways to weave in health and wellness improvements that fit the priorities of our towns, such as economic development. All Vermonters will thrive when our living conditions help to eliminate differences in health for different groups of people.
Use the Public Health Data Explorer to learn about health and wellness where you live.
- share examples of language that promotes health with cities and towns in order to strengthen regional plans.
- provide a Safe Routes to Schools Regional Expert to provide support to schools.
- provide public health data and information to inform planning.
- provide education about why sidewalks and healthy foods options in local markets are important.
- connect you with useful resources and provide examples of similar work done in other communities to help you on your way.
- look for funds to help town officials and organizations support health-promoting efforts
Our office supports municipal staff, elected officials, and community members on healthy community design activities such as:
- Using health data to inform decision-making.
- Development of health supporting language in land use and transportation planning documents.
- Conducting healthy community design public engagement during the planning process.
- Helping municipalities implement healthy community design recommendations.
The Burlington Local Health Office supported the following healthy community design efforts:
- ECOS Plan
- Chittenden County Active Transportation Plan
- Plan BTV Walk/Bike
- Plan BTV Downtown and Waterfront
- City of Burlington Housing Action Plan
- Counter Tools
- Burlington Bikeshare Expansion - reviewed the safety and health considerations of electrically assisted vehicles.
- Jericho Town Plan - collaborated with the Planning Commission to include a health chapter in an update of the town plan.
Health Impact Assessment
A Health Impact Assessment studies the potential impacts to health of decisions about policies or programs. We have conducted Health Impact Assessments on four projects in our district:
3 behaviors – lack of physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use – lead to 4 chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease – that are the cause of more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont.
This understanding inspires us to take action. Communities that are built to support physical activity, safe walking and biking, use of public transportation, and easy access to fresh foods are essential for good health.
Active Living and Healthy Eating - Vermont Healthy Community Design Resource
Examples for Creating Healthy Communites: Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, Tobacco, Alchol & Drug Abuse Prevention (link is external)- Vermont Healthy Community Design Resource
Complete Streets: Guide for Vermont Communities - to assist towns with examples
3-4-50 Prevent Chronic Disease
Physical Activity & Nutrition in Vermont Communities
Health in All Policies Scorecard
Environmental Health in Vermont
Chronic Disease in Vermont - Data