Using Health Impact Assessment to Promote Healthy Community Design

Andrew Dannenberg, Atlanta, GA

ABSTRACT: In order to make more informed planning decisions about the potential health consequences of proposed projects or policies, a tool has been developed, the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), explained Andrew L. Dannenberg, MD, MPH, Assoc. Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at CDC.

HIAs are generally commissioned by a city council or planning commission to evaluate such issues as impact on health of housing redevelopment projects, loss of mass transit funds, highway corridor redevelopment, pedestrian/bicycle trail development, local area and comprehensive plans. They can be used to evaluate impact on obesity and physical activity, air pollution and asthma, mental health, or social capital. Dr. Dannenberg described a few of the 65 HIAs already completed in the US, and the significant impact they have exerted.

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