Navigation Links
Twin Cities light rail project presents both opportunities and risks for health, according to report
Date:1/4/2012

WASHINGTONThe rezoning around a planned light rail line in the Twin Cities would create both opportunities and potential risks for the health of the people in the communities it would pass through, according to a health impact assessment (HIA) released today by PolicyLink, TakeAction Minnesota, and ISAIAH, a nonprofit coalition of 90 congregations of various faiths in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Cloud region. The HIA was made possible through a grant by the Health Impact Project, which is a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

An HIA is a study that helps policy makers identify the likely health impacts of a decision in a field outside of healthin this case, the assessment is informing the rezoning process for a billion-dollar light rail line connecting the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The HIA has been successful in incorporating health issues into the policy discussion, and helping policy makers and community members see how issues like employment and access to transit affect health.

"The health impact assessment of the light rail line in the Twin Cities shows the value of planning ahead. The HIA identifies benefits as well as unintended consequences, like the risk of displacing low-income residents along the corridor while there is still time to do something about them," said Aaron Wernham, M.D., director of the Health Impact Project. "For a decision like this, HIA can serve as a road map for decision makers who have to balance issues such as health and affordable housing with economic opportunities that come with transit and land-use planning."

The HIA highlighted the health benefits the light rail offers through increased access to transit, which connects people to grocery stores, doctors' offices, and other services. It would also facilitate access to jobs and bring customers to the many small and minority-owned businesses that line the corridor. Employment benefits health by allowing people to afford food, safe housing, and medical care. This HIA offered practical recommendations, such as making additional parking available during construction to help small businesses attract and retain shoppers.

The HIA also identified that when redevelopment occurs in the corridor, housing costs would likely rise and lead to health risks if lower-income residents struggle to afford necessities such as rent, food, heat, and medicine. The transit line passes through some of the region's most diverse and lowest-income communities.

If people moved because of rising prices, the cultural and social aspects of the communities would change dramatically. Research shows that when people are more actively engaged in a community, they are more likely to walk and shop in the neighborhood, to know their neighbors, and to look out for one another. These benefits translate into lower crime and violence, and better health outcomes.

The HIA study identified affordable housing as a community priority, and as a result of the report's recommendation, the St. Paul city council created a work group to identify ways to preserve and enhance access to housing for low-income residents. The council also commissioned feasibility analyses on two proposals prioritized by a community steering committee representing a wide range of organizations and interests. One program would expand the incentives to developers who provide affordable housing in new residential and mixed-use development projects and a pilot that would help cover the cost of reserving some of the housing close to proposed light rail stations for lower-income households.

Although all HIAs include a stakeholder engagement portion to guide the study, this project's level of engagement, particularly with low-income people and communities of color, was unprecedented in the city of St. Paul, according to the report. The project created a community steering committee of more than 20 organizations representing diverse constituents and interests, including labor, faith, housing, and neighborhood groups.

Health impact assessment is a fast-growing field in the United States. Transportation projects and planning are frequent HIA subjects, with at least two dozen HIAs conducted to inform decisions in that sector in the U.S. Other HIAs informing transit-oriented development include projects in Houston, in Pittsburg, CA, and in Los Angeles.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alex Dery Snider
aderysnider@pewtrusts.org
202-540-6590
Pew Health Group
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. DASH FOR DAD Race Series Coming to 11 Cities to Raise Prostate Cancer Awareness
2. North American Bancard in the Tri-Cities Area of East Tennessee
3. K-State Study Finds Abundance of Food Stores, Not Lack of Them, Puts Low-Income Women In Small Cities at Higher Risk of Obesity
4. Blacks have highest cancer rates of all racial ethnicities, yet feel less at risk, study finds
5. Pollen.com Reports Five U.S. Cities with Highest Pollen Activity -- Total Prescriptions for Allergy Medications 3.7% Higher than Last Year
6. Washington, D.C., Tops List of Healthiest U.S. Cities
7. Scottsdale Named One of US' Greenest Cities, Green Building Permits on the Rise
8. Bars, restaurants see no significant employment change under smoking bans in 2 cities
9. Separate Bikes-Only Lanes in Cities Cut Injury Rate: Study
10. Report: California Cities Have Worst Air Pollution in U.S.
11. U.S. Murder Toll From Guns Highest in Big Cities: CDC
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Georgia State University ... specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the ... law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... The Woodlands at John Knox ... new model of care for living and healing, celebrated its grand opening, today. The ... a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. , “This is an incredibly fulfilling time ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... MadgeTech will be showcasing its line of ... Warner, New Hampshire at the MadgeTech headquarters. With products sold in more than 100 ... government agencies, including NASA. , In 2012, NASA strategically set up 17 RHTemp101A ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... An April Gallup survey found rising health care costs to be the top ... Living (SHSL) may not share those same worries thanks to a new bundled ... while holding the line on increasing their contributions, including premiums, deductibles and the portions ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Leadership ... solutions, today announced the organization has earned its ISO 13485 certification, indicating the ... compliant with all rules and policies associated with ISO quality standard 13485. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 ... the Dario™ Diabetes Management Tool, today announced that the Company,s ... the Marcum MicroCap Conference being held June 1-2 in ... Invitational, being held June 7-9 in Los Angeles, ... will discuss recent corporate and operational milestones, including the U.S. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: AMBS), ... Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today announced that President & CEO ... conferences: SeeThru Equity MicroCap Conference   ... City , NY When: Tuesday, May 31 st ... Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42 nd ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... TARE (Transarterial Radio-embolization) Using ... and Overall Decreased Use of Hospital Resource ... specialist healthcare company, has today announced the publication ... of ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes ... using yttrium-90 glass microspheres is associated with cost ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: