Public health trends in the SCAG region have largely worsened or
remained stagnant for the past 15 years. Currently, nearly 14
percent of residents suffer from asthma, 28 percent have high
blood pressure, and nearly 30 percent are considered obese.
Unfortunately, chronic diseases and injuries are now accounting
for 69% of all causes of death. Across the region, life
expectancy ranges drastically, from 68 to 93 years, depending on
census tract. SCAG’s analysis of regional public health
conditions continues to reinforce this point- where you live
matters. Transportation and land use decisions shape
neighborhoods, while also influencing health outcomes. To improve
health outcomes and to reduce inequities, it is critical for
public health to be integrated into land use and transportation
Public Health and the Built Environment
Public health is largely a product of the social determinants of
health, or the conditions in which people live, work, play, and
age. Community and environmental conditions are impacted by
policies and practices of many sectors of society, most of which
are not under the control of public health professionals.
Recognition that public health is influenced by multiple factors
has led many federal, state, and local agencies to adopt the
Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach. Health in All Policies is
a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health
considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve health
of all communities and people. HiAP recognizes that health is
created by a multitude of factors beyond healthcare and, in many
cases, beyond the scope of traditional public health activities.
Under the HiAP approach, transportation and land use agencies are
considered to be best-positioned to create policies and practices
that promote healthy communities and environments.
SCAG’s Commitment to Public Health
As a regional planning agency, SCAG is in a unique position to
engage with stakeholders throughout the region to advance
health-conscious transportation and land use planning practices.
Through the region’s long-range plan, Connect SoCal, SCAG conducts a public
health analysis of existing conditions and trends and
anticipated future health outcomes, and outlines strategies that
the region and stakeholders can pursue to improve public health.
The analysis is focused on the following social determinants of