Every neighborhood should provide people what they need to live a healthy life

Place shapes health

Depending on where we live, our health may be adversely affected by neighborhood characteristics, from poor air quality to limited healthy food access. This is especially true in communities of color.

These inequities — rooted in structural racism and concentrated in place by longtime disinvestment — mean that for many residents, living in certain zip codes can shorten their life expectancy by up to 20 to 30 years. (1)


1) Source: NYU School of Medicine, Department of Population Health, June 2019

30 years

Projected decline in lifespan for residents of neighborhoods subjected to housing discrimination and disinvestment

That’s where the Inclusive Healthy Places Framework comes in

Gehl, the former Gehl Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) developed the Inclusive Healthy Places (IHP) Framework in 2017 to help guide the creation of equitable, healthy places. Informed by extensive research about the links between place, health, and equity, the Framework helps translate big picture goals into action, creates a shared language for practitioners across the worlds of urbanism and health, and offers a library of tools and resources for setting and measuring outcomes.

A data-driven, people-first guide for closing health equity gaps in our places.



Applying the Framework on the ground

The Framework is a platform for meaningful action on the challenging work of building health equity in communities. The Framework can be used in several ways:

  • For facilitation · Create a shared language and vision among diverse stakeholders
  • For evaluation · Define what’s important, collect data, and measure progress
  • For projects · Plan for equitable design, program, and operations





A diverse mix of communities across the country have applied the Framework over the past two years, with the support of Gehl, RWJF, and four organizations with broad and deep reach: American Planning Association (APA); Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC); and National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Map of Projects using the IHP Framework in the US