Improving health and equity through built environment approaches: Findings from a qualitative study in Los Angeles
Methods: We conducted 36 key informant interviews to explore the priorities and perspectives of practitioners from community-based organizations, local governments, and relevant businesses on how to advance health and equity through land use policies and practices in Los Angeles.
Findings: Interviewees identified several opportunities to advance health and equity through built environment approaches. First, greater public awareness of how land use planning influences health could clarify what residents can and should expect. Second, mechanisms could be established to better ensure that public dollars are allocated more equitably. Third, public agencies require more capacity, political will, and skills to consistently engage residents across Los Angeles. Further, community-based “anchor organizations” represent a critical linkage between local government and residents.
Conclusions: Our research suggests that efforts to achieve more equitable outcomes through changes to the built environment should incorporate four key components: build skills for meaningful collaboration among community-based organizations, residents, and public agency staff; improve financial and structural decisions to prioritize equitable investments in land use planning and implementation; dedicate resources to support robust community engagement; and scale up innovative and successful approaches among “anchor organizations” working in low-income communities.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination among community-based organizations, residents, and public agencies to advance health and equity through changes to the built environment.
Keyword(s): Built Environment, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led a number of projects and coalitions focused on the intersection of public health, planning and transportation. Among my scientific interests has been the development and strategies of strategies that integrate health and equity into land use, zoning and transportation planning.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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.