Photo Home
Who We Are
Research & Policy

> Community Assessment
> Community Awareness
> Environmental and Policy Change
> Leadership Development

News Room

  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

green corner
NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
image image image family Partners community

Environmental and Policy Change
The field of public health has laid the foundation for a range of promising prevention strategies that seek to change high risk behaviors by targeting the broader environment in which individuals live. These strategies differ from many of the more commonly known preventive interventions, which tend to focus on changing the individual's behavior. The increasing national interest in utilizing environmental prevention approaches is, in some ways, quite understandable. If we focus prevention efforts on the individual, we are inevitably trying to change behavior one person at a time. If our efforts are focused on the environment, or on policies that impact the environment, whole communities can benefit from their impact.

The range of environmental prevention strategies currently being tested nationally has increased dramatically over the past ten years, as empirical evidence suggests that they are equally or more effective than individually-focused prevention strategies in changing high risk behaviors. Environmental and policy focused strategies that impact alcohol and tobacco use have received significant attention within the prevention research community. There is also a growing body of work being conducted to explore the effectiveness of environmental and policy focused strategies to impact a broad range of high risk issues, including gun violence, drug use, and HIV prevention.

Click below for information on additional resources and strategies.

Other Helpful Info

Alcohol Policy Information System

Environmental and Policy Change Strategies

  Alcohol Outlet Density
  Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol
  Raising Alcohol Taxes
  Changing the Hours and Days of Sale of Alcohol
  Preventing Alcohol Availability to Underage Youth
  Responsible Beverage Service

Community Enforcement
  Nuisance Abatement Laws to Improve Community Conditions
  Neighborhood Revitalization Strategies

  Immigrant Access to Driver's Licenses


copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.