Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative Receives Grant Funding

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (March 30, 2015)The Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative has received a $135,000 grant from the American Planning Association through its Plan4Health program to combat two determinants of chronic disease—lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods in the capital city.

“Saying Americans need to exercise more is merely lip service to a much bigger issue associated with our sedentary lives,” said Charles Latini, Jr., PP/AICP, President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association. “This project’s success will be measured in our ability to show New Jersey communities what they can do to compliment traditional health initiatives by creating well-designed places our citizens will actually desire to choose walking or biking over motorized travel.”

Plan4Health is a 15-month program that strengthens the connection between planning and public health. Seventy-five percent of the program’s funding supports local and state coalitions working to advance public health through better planning and partnerships. The program is implemented in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and represents a major new collaboration between planners and public health professionals. Funding for Plan4Health was provided through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is an exciting new opportunity to improve the health of our communities through diverse partnerships,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, manager of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center. “Collaboration is key if we want to continue to create communities of lasting value that are equitable and healthy for all residents.”

Eighteen coalitions were selected for the Plan4Health program after a competitive review process. The program is being administered through APA’s Planning and Community Health Center that is dedicated to integrating community health issues into local and regional planning practices by advancing research, outreach, education and policy.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Plan4Health Initiative. The planning and public health professions are natural allies and the activities we have programmed with this grant will continue to advance the effectiveness with which planners and public health professionals can implement health-promoting policies and physical environments,” noted Project Investigators Jennifer Senick and Jon Carnegie of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative

Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative will address the inactivity and unhealthy diets of many residents. By collaborating with partners in the capital city, it will advance adoption of health-focused policies and healthy food access through creation of a Health and Food Systems Element as part of the Trenton250 Master Plan (; increase healthy literacy among Trenton residents; share findings with colleagues across the state; and promote a health-focus in local decision-making.

“Today, with this opportunity from the American Planning Association, the capital city takes a major step towards developing policies and programs that promote health, quality food access, and safe environments for Trenton residents to live healthy active lifestyles,” Trenton Mayor Eric E. Jackson said.

Coalition partners include: The American Planning Association – NJ Chapter, the New Jersey Public Health Association, City of Trenton, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Economic Development – Division of Planning, and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.   

In addition to Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative being selected, the following 17 coalitions also received funding:

  1. Eastern Highlands Health District Community Health Response Team; Eastern Highlands, Connecticut
  2. Healthy Savannah, Inc.; Chatham County, Georgia
  3. Health Transformers; Vista Neighborhood, Boise, Idaho
  4. B-Well Bensenville Plan4Heath Coalition; Bensenville, Illinois
  5. Kane County Planning Cooperative; Kane County, Illinois
  6. Reach Healthy Communities; Columbus, Indiana
  7. Health by Design; Indianapolis/Marion County, Indiana
  8. Planning Healthy Iowa Communities; Linn County, Iowa
  9. Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition; Kenton County, Kentucky
  10. Inner Core Community Health Improvement Coalition; Metro Boston, Massachusetts
  11. Healthy Eating, Active Living Partnership – Active Living Workgroup; St. Louis, Missouri
  12. Plan4Health – Nashua, an initiative of the Greater Nashua Public Health Network; Nashua, New Hampshire
  1. Live Well Kingston; Kingston, New York
  2. Columbus Public Health – Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Board; Columbus, Ohio
  3. Plan 4 Health Summit County; Summit County, Ohio
  4. Austin-Vámonos Rundberg Coalition; Rundberg Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
  5. Capital Region Healthy Communities, Dane County, Wisconsin

For more information about the Plan4Health program, visit or follow the hashtag #Plan4Health on Twitter.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not- for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit