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Healthy Community Planning Projects Receive Recognition

TACOMA, Wash.—Healthier housing options. Better air quality. More walking opportunities. Six Pierce County cities and towns made these and other improvements last year. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department honored them for their forward-thinking approaches to improve the health of their residents.

The 2017 Healthy Communities Award winners took a comprehensive approach to address the social, economic, and environmental factors that make people healthy. They showed a commitment to incorporate health considerations when implementing comprehensive plans.

“People in the communities are the true winners,” said Amy Pow, principal planner. “They benefit from the upstream work of municipal leaders to make our communities better places to live, learn, work, and play,” she said.

And the winners are…
The cities and towns received platinum, gold, or silver awards for efforts to influence the health of their communities. The Health Department ranked them based on criteria such as public engagement, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship. This year’s four platinum award winners:

Fircrest (Emerson Sidewalk Project)–Completed missing stretches of sidewalk for pedestrians to get around more safely. The improved connectivity encourages healthier lifestyles and independent living, particularly for the underserved populations. The project added trees along streets to improve air quality and appearance. Learn more at

Lakewood (Rental Housing Safety Program)—Establishes basic health and safety standards for residential rental properties to improve tenants’ living conditions. According to the State Department of Health, this program should be a model for cities statewide. Learn more at

Lakewood (Springbrook Park Redevelopment Project)—Started as a park redevelopment but evolved into a neighborhood revitalization. The project brought neighborhood groups together to regularly meet on other community issues and enhanced the sense of community. Learn more at

Puyallup (Active Transportation Plan)—Promotes human-powered transportation (walking, cycling, use of a wheelchair, etc.) to give residents a healthy way to get around the city. One immediate outcome: the successful and well-attended summer walking series. Learn more at

Gold awards: Fife (Benthien Loop Water Main Project) and Tacoma (Mall Subarea Plan).

Silver award—Steilacoom (Farmers Market-ETB Outreach Project).

Learn more about healthy communities and community planning at

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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