This guest post is provided by Sharon Roerty, a senior program officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Foundation is a long-standing supporter of Academy work, including funding the 2017 International Conference on Urban Health in Coimbra, Portugal.

Building public spaces that welcome and enhance quality of life for all requires getting proximate to and working with communities. That’s why in 2017, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) partnered with the Gehl Institute. We wanted to better understand how planners design public spaces in an inclusive way that supports health for all.

We traveled to places within the United States and destinations ranging from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Coimbra, Portugal. We sought to understand how their institutions, practices and places reflect their values. We interviewed experts and observed successful public spaces in action, looking for ideas that can expand and reshape our thinking and practices in the United States. Each stop along our learning journey gave us additional context to think more deeply about inclusion, health and equity in real places where people live, work, socialize, and struggle.

Read the full post on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Blog.