SAN PABLO -- The city has received a National Planning Achievement Award for environmental planning from the American Planning Association for its General Plan Health Element, the first of its kind in California.

"The role of the plan, which is to realistically and achievably put people and their health first, focuses on factors such as behaviors and lifestyles, income, education, employment and working conditions, access to health services, nutrition, and the quality of physical environments," according to a news release on the association's website at www.planning.org/awards/2013/achievement.htm.

The health element updates San Pablo General Plan 2030, accessible on the city website at www.sanpabloca.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/669.

San Pablo's Achievement Award is one of 12 the association will recognize at its annual national conference, to be held in Chicago from April 13 to April 17. The association also issued 18 Planning Excellence awards this year.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 and tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner