Public policies play a significant role in shaping the environments where we live, work, play and learn by stimulating public discourse, shaping decision making and allocating resources, thereby exerting a strong influence on our individual and collective health. Current policies can make it easier (e.g. promoting access to parks and open space) or more difficult (e.g. decreasing funding for Safe Routes to School programs) for communities to access healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for physical activity and recreation. Policy change—on a local, state and national level—is therefore an indispensable tool for transforming community environments to prevent illness, injury, and health inequity in the first place.