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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
3314.0: Monday, November 05, 2007 - 3:20 PM

Abstract #162325

Greening and Urbanization of Atlanta: A Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta BeltLine

Catherine L. Ross, PhD1, Andrew Dannenberg, MD, MPH2, and Karen Leone de Nie, MCRP1. (1) Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, Georgia Tech, 760 Spring Street, Suite 213, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-385-5133, catherine.ross@coa.gatech.edu, (2) National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, MS F-60, Atlanta, GA 30341

In 2005, the City of Atlanta voted to adopt a new vision for the city. It took the form of massive public and private investments (totalling over $3 billion) in parks, trails, transit, and redevelopment. Dubbed the BeltLine, the project is intended to reuse a largely abandoned freight rail corridor that forms a 21-mile loop around the core of the city. In total, more than 6,000 acres will be redeveloped. With such a major investment it is reasonable to ask: How might this project impact the health of the more than 200,000 people who live near the BeltLine?

This question is being answered, in part, by a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) being conducted by Georgia Tech with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This paper outlines the approaches and tools used to explore how transportation and green infrastructure investments affect public health. The paper also shares results from the BeltLine HIA, outlines lessons learned, and proposes techniques for the utilization of HIAs in other places in the United States.

Unlike many HIAs, which have been led solely by public health practitioners, this project is a joint effort of health and city planning experts. The outcome of this partnership has been the development of improved communications and shared analysis techniques across disciplines, which has resulted in a more holistic interpretation and response to the challenges of creating urban environments that are supportive of good health.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Assessment, Urban Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Health Impact Assessment and U.S. Environmental Policy: Novel Strategies for Addressing Public Health Within the U.S. Environmental Regulatory System

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 3-7, 2007) of APHA