The city of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is kicking off a series of seven community planning forums starting this Saturday, March 15th, and running through April 12th. They’re at various locations from Granada Hills to San Pedro. The forums are for public feedback on three citywide planning processes: re:code L.A., Mobility Plan 2035, and Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles. This week, Streetsblog will preview each of the citywide initiatives. First off, it’s the city’s new health plan.
There’s a brand new plan on the block.
Until now, the city of Los Angeles hasn’t had a stand-alone health and wellness plan as an element of its General Plan. Formally, the new plan is titled Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles and it has its own website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, mailing list, and RSS feed.
The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles (Health Plan) is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Department of City Planning (DCP), with the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the California Endowment, and the project consultant Raimi + Associates.
A draft Health Plan (pdf available via Plan download page) was released February 13th for a 90-day review period. DCP is requesting public comment on the draft, via the upcoming forums which conclude April 12th, 2014, or via email or in writing. The deadline for comments is May 13th, 2014.
What may be most interesting about the Health Plan is what isn’t in it.
Streetsblog readers are familiar with the clear connections between transportation and health. Collisions kill in the short run. Car-centric systems decrease physical activity, which kills in the long run.
The Health Plan contains very little transportation planning, but instead acknowledges “the connection between health and mobility” and directs Angelenos to “please see the Mobility Plan 2035” for actual transportation plans and policies. The only transportation policy in the health plan is “increasing community access to open space and recreational opportunities, as well as to medical care facilities.”
Similarly, the Health Plan mentions but does not focus on economic development, equity, environmental justice, or housing. These are covered by the city’s General Plan Framework and the General Plan Housing Element, respectively.
So, what’s left? Quite a bit, it turns out.
The health plan focuses on six main areas:
- “A City Built for Health” includes: increasing goods and services in underserved neighborhoods, and promoting active design and disabled access.
- “Bountiful Parks and Open Spaces” includes: expanding parks (especially in underserved neighborhoods), revitalizing the L.A. River, safer parks, and community stewardship of parks.
- “Food that Nourishes Body and Soul” includes: urban agriculture, farmers markets, and more equitable access to healthy affordable food outlets.
- “An Environment Where Life Thrives” includes: reducing air pollution, increasing the number of smoke-free places, reducing impacts of oil extraction, and remediating brownfields.
- “Lifetime Opportunities for Learning and Prosperity” includes: supporting early childhood, lifelong learning, arts, libraries, workforce training, and youth employment.
- “Safe and Just Neighborhoods” includes: supporting gang prevention programs, innovative public safety, community policing, and reintegrating the formerly incarcerated.