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Planning101: Public Health

Public Health

Planning101 is a space for MAPC staff to share their wealth of knowledge on topics related to smart growth and regional collaboration. This blog covers a diverse range of issues that include transportation, clean energy, land use, environment, public health, local government, equity, the innovative usage of public data, and the process of creating digital tools.

Research Brief: The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap

By Elise Harmon | April 3, 2020

Report: The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap   The “first wave” of COVID-related unemployment in Massachusetts is represented in the nearly 329,000 initial unemployment claims filed between March 16 and March 28. The largest share of claims was from workers in Food Preparation, followed by Office and Administrative, Sales, Construction, and Transportation occupations. This first wave […]

Highway Traffic at Sunset

MAPC Issues Statement on Trump Administration Rollback of Fuel Efficiency Standards

By Elise Harmon | April 2, 2020

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) today issued a statement responding to weakened fuel efficiency standards announced by the Trump administration. “MAPC strongly opposes fuel efficiency rollbacks that will imperil people’s health, our environment, and the economy of our region, state, and country,” said MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis. “Reversing course on efficiency and greenhouse […]

Equity-Forward Economic Development in Uphams Corner

By Elise Harmon | March 3, 2020

Equity-Forward Development in Uphams Corner Across the Boston region and the United States, neighborhoods are experiencing significant economic changes. In some cases, residents can ride the wave of the economic surge and see their lives improve. Unfortunately, not all are lifted by this wave: many have been limited by a history of racial, legal, and […]

New Focus in Community Health Needs Assessments: The Social Determinants of Health

By Kit Un | February 4, 2020

New Focus in Community Health Needs Assessments: The Social Determinants of Health Community health needs assessments (CHNAs), commonly performed by hospitals and other institutions, identify and describe factors that affect a given area’s health. Lately, there’s been a shift: CHNAs increasingly focus on the social determinants of health. This is making the assessments more useful […]

MAPC MetroCommon 2050 Clean Energy Climate Equity Forum Schools of Thought Installation

Videos: Voices on Climate

By Elise Harmon | December 18, 2019

Voices on Climate Change “Cape Cod was named for the codfish, and now we don’t see any codfish anymore,” observes Chatham fisherman Jamie Bassett, gesturing out to the Atlantic Ocean from his boat, “Does that mean the waters are warming around here? I don’t know. I’m not a scientist, I don’t know what the optimum […]

Kendall Community Garden

Health, Hens, and Equity: MAPC Examines Cambridge’s Urban Agriculture Policy

By Elise Harmon | May 24, 2019

As the weather warms and the trees sprout leaves after long bare months, the city of Cambridge welcomes spring: sprouts and stakes appear in community gardens, bees buzz around their hives, hens peck in backyards, and urban farmers sell their wares from farm stands. That’s what springtime in Cambridge could look like in a few […]

Koi fish sculpture made out of fishing net at Wake Up the Earth 2019

Schools of Thought on Climate Change: MAPC’s Newest Art Installation

By Elise Harmon | May 22, 2019

Climate change is already visible across the Metro Boston region, forcing individuals and communities to cope with increasingly severe weather, unpredictable harvests and workplace conditions, and greater risks from vector-borne and heat-related illnesses. MAPC’s newest art installation “Schools of Thought on Climate Change: Stories from Land and Sea,” integrates storytelling with public art to show […]

Satellite image of Eastern MA

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: How MA Cities and Towns are Connecting People to Services

By Elise Harmon | April 29, 2019

The Chelsea Hub and Revere’s Substance Use Disorder Initiatives are highlighted in MAPC’s Connecting People to Services. Cities and towns in Greater Boston are on the front line in addressing the impacts of the opioid epidemic. Local police and fire are often first on the scene to revive individuals who have overdosed. Municipal public health, […]

MAPC’s 2019-2020 Legislative Priorities

By Elise Harmon | January 29, 2019

The deadline to file bills for the 2019-2020 Massachusetts legislative session was Friday, Jan. 19. Over 5,000 bills were filed before that date – including several smart growth priorities from MAPC. Our proposals were crafted to address the transportation, climate, and housing challenges in the 101 cities and towns of our region. If enacted, these […]

MAPC Helps City of Everett, Community Partners Launch First-Ever Food Plan

By Elise Harmon | November 20, 2018

Photo by Cyara Lambert Good food and good health go hand in hand. With a good food system comes environmental sustainability, social cohesion, and civic engagement. And Everett residents are ready for food system change. Like many urban areas, the City of Everett faces challenges to providing equitable access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods. Recent […]