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Over the past decade, Urban Design 4 Health (UD4H) has developed innovative, evidence-based tools to evaluate the health impacts of transportation and land use decisions. These tools are useable by state, regional and local government evaluations. With support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, UD4H has created the National Public Health Assessment Model (N-PHAM). It provides physical activity and health outcome estimates at a fine-grain resolution for any region in the country.

Recently, UD4H has applied the N-PHAM to
Integrate Health into Regional Planning with UrbanFootprint for the Genesee Transportation Council in metropolitan Rochester, New York shown below.

Highlights of the N-PHAM Tool:

  • Nationwide coverage at the census block group or tract-level for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
  • Designed to evaluate health and equity impacts of a variety of planning efforts, including land use changes, long-range regional transportation plans, active transportation plans, and transit service changes
  • Includes a wide range of physical activity indicators and health outcomes:
    • Physical activity
    • Sedentary behavior
    • Body weight and obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension and heart disease
    • Mental health and depression
    • Sense of community
    • Direct and indirect costs of health care and workforce productivity
  • Comprises a suite of built, natural and social environmental input measures including walkability, transit, access to green space, and equity considerations


UD4H has applied N-PHAM to perform a Health Equity Study with Envision Tomorrow for the San Joaquin Council of Governments in metropolitan Stockton, California illustrated below.

N-PHAM has also been deployed to conduct:

In 2020, we worked with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to update and enhance a related tool, the California Public Health Assessment Model (C-PHAM). This tool was originally developed by UD4H in 2015. Similar to N-PHAM, this tool was designed for high-resolution quantitative health impact assessment (HIA) applications statewide. SCAG used C-PHAM with its Scenario Planning Model as part of their recently released 2020 RTP (Connect SoCal)

Let us know if you would like to discuss ways UD4H can help you to integrate health, equity, and the built, natural, and social environment more fully into your work.


Contact us to learn more.

Dr. Lawrence Frank, President, and the UD4H Team
Urban Design 4 Health (UD4H) develops evidence and tools to support healthy, sustainable, energy secure transportation and land use decision making.

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Copyright © 2021 Urban Design 4 Health, Inc., All rights reserved.

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