Health Impact Assessment: Stories from the Field
During the era of industrialization, the rapid growth of urban areas led to crowding and poor housing. This resulted in poor sanitation and high rates of infectious disease. Public health and planning professionals worked together to improve water and sewer systems, trash collection, and overcrowded, substandard housing.
In the 20th century, as sanitation improved in U.S. cities and infectious disease declined, the public health and planning professions grew apart. Today, an epidemic of obesity and related chronic diseases has replaced infectious ones. To improve Americans’ health, public health and planning professionals are coming together once again. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that is reconnecting and rekindling their partnership.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Built Environment and Health Initiative (also known as the Healthy Community Design Initiative) is advancing the use of HIA in the U.S. with their "Health Impact Assessment to Foster Healthy Community Design" grants. Below is a map showing the location of six current grantees. Click on a star to learn how public health and planning professionals are joining forces once again to make a healthier America.