This free webinar will address urban designers and other professionals on the importance of early, sustained, and genuine engagement with local communities—residents, business owners, neighborhood organizations, and leaders—to understand their history, dynamics and unique needs, challenges and opportunities. Health Equity Initiative will share its expertise on effective strategies to engage and empower communities to meaningfully participate in planning their community and shaping a vision for their future. Additionally, a successful urban design project will be explored to understand barriers to productive participation and ways to overcome them.
Participants will discuss the importance and benefits of authentic community engagement in urban design; list strategies for community engagement; identify barriers and roadblocks to community engagement; and discuss strategies to overcome obstacles to successful community participation.

This webinar is third in a three-part webinar series Health Equity and the Built Environment: Engaging New Allies in Planning a Healthy City (read more below).


  • Glenn Ellis, MPH, CHCE, Board Secretary, Board of Directors, Health Equity Initiative 
  • Renata Schiavo, Ph.D, MA, Founding President, Board of Directors, Health Equity initiative
  • Myrna Lezcano, Associate Director of Education & Cultural Organizing at Friends of the High Line 
  • Shin-Pei Tsay (Moderator), MS, Executive Director at Gehl Institute

The link to participate in this webinar will be sent as part of the registration confirmation email once you have registered. 

Health Equity and the Built Environment: Engaging New Allies in Planning a Healthy City


This three-session webinar series is focused on the concept that “place matters”—that the physical environment can protect against or exacerbate health inequities. The series will center on the intersection of design, planning, community development, and public health, as well as the consequences of different urban design approaches on health equity. It will help people “see” their surroundings and their relationship to health with new eyes, as well as provide resources and tools for increased participation of community leaders and “non-designer” professionals in the urban design process. The series’ intended results include creating a cadre of professionals in relevant sectors who gain insight into how the built environment intersects with issues of safety, access to healthy lifestyles, and a community’s overall physical, mental and emotional health. The webinars will also provide participants with sample resources and steps to become engaged or engage others in the urban design process.
Who should attend: Community leaders and professionals in the fields of public health, healthcare, government, urban planning, design, transportation, education, and others who are seeking (1) a more comprehensive understanding of the urban planning–health equity relationship to provide input and ideas in the urban design process; and (2) essential skills in the theory and practice of community engagement.

Cost: Free

Stay tuned for our 2018 Summit!

Image by Tim Green. Source.