blockitecture leaderboard

Taking Health into Account

Do you know the effect your spiffy new development will have on the neighbors' health? Aaron Wernham and the Kresge Foundation think you could use a health impact assessment.

Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) "provide a way to factor health outcomes into decisions that affect both housing and neighborhoods, such as zoning, road-building, codes, or neighborhood revitalization" says Aaron Wernham, a physician a director of the Health Impact Project based in Washington, D.C., in Shelterforce's latest issue on health and housing.

HIAs are conducted in 6 steps that include screening and reporting. During perhaps the most important step - "assessing" - community members are regarded as true stakeholders in the decision-making process and help shape priorities of planned projects and which health outcomes should be promoted or avoided.

For a very candid look at the role the community plays (or stands to play, when enough pressure is present) in the HIA process, read the sidebar interview with ISAIAH executive director, Doran Schrantz (A Community-Driven HIA). Dr. Wernham challenges those first learning about HIAs, as well as those very familiar with the process and its use in the housing field, to think about how HIAs will affect neighborhoods, not just individual developments or units of housing.

Under the Health Impact Project's call for proposals, the Kresge Foundation recently funded two health impact assessments specifically addressing health and housing. With housing becoming a focus, the community development field should be at the HIA table.

Thanks to Brittany Stanley

Full Story: Taking Health Into Account

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95