Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
At MAPC, we integrate public health perspectives into our work: from planning projects to data collection and analysis to policy development. MAPC is on the forefront of linking health and planning to help make our communities safe, healthy, and equitable.
We seek to ensure that the region’s residents, whatever their income, education, or ethnic background, can live the healthiest lives possible. Through our work, we seek to increase access to open space, healthy food, and active transportation, to sustain violence-free communities with safe and stable housing, to support equal access to health services, and to limit exposures to pollution and environmental contaminants. Our work relies heavily on a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach.
To learn more about MAPC's Public Health Services, contact Public Health Director Barry Keppard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.933.0750.
There is a strong link between health outcomes in communities and issues such as transportation, economic development, housing, energy, climate change, and the environment. We work with cities and towns in our region to increase access to open space, healthy food, and active transportation; to sustain violence-free communities with safe and stable housing; and to limit exposures to pollution and environmental contaminants.
The Climate Perspectives project integrates focus groups and participatory art-making to collect and share perspectives on the impacts of climate change and emerging resilience strategies.
In 2019, MAPC facilitated four focus groups and conducted follow-up interviews with managers, employees, and representatives from the construction, farming, home health care, and fishing industries.
MAPC has been working in support of the 15 cities and towns that make up the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition as they address the opioid epidemic.
The public health team collaborated on "Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Connecting People to Services," a booklet and workshop on four innovative programs and approaches that people with opioid use disorder with services that can help them.
Since 2017, MAPC has worked with the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Cambridge Urban Agriculture Task Force to examine how changes in urban agriculture policy could affect public health.
In 2019, we released a health lens analysis describing the potential effects of the policy and recommending steps the city can take to ensure that new policies are implemented in ways that promote health.
Public Health Principles
Core Assumptions & Principles
Health is a fundamental right.
Health is a state of physical, mental, and social wellness, not merely the absence of disease.
Health springs from communities that are safe, connected, resourced, and equitable.
Engagement & Approach
We recognize where you live, learn, work, gather, and age greatly influence health, and we promote health through healthy community design.
We work with partners to increase their capacity to improve community health and health equity.
We prioritize solutions driven by those effected most by the problems, particularly low income communities and communities of color.
We are interdisciplinary in our approach, and collaborate with partners across regional planning fields.
Our planning practice and recommendations are broadly informed, and evidence-based.
Outcomes and Impact
Through planning and policy, our efforts make it easier for everyone to live long, healthy lives, in communities that are safe, connected, resourced, and equitable.
Our work results in health equity, and eliminates health disparities typically experienced more by populations of color, and low-income communities.