The HIA addressed a proposed residential and commercial development at the Jack London Gateway (JLG) in Oakland, California. The project included 55 units of low-income senior housing and an additional 14,000 feet of retail space in an underutilized parking lot of an existing shopping plaza. The site is close to several interstate freeways and to the Port of Oakland. Pathways explored included indoor and outdoor air quality, noise, safety and retail. Health issues explored included respiratory illness, high blood pressure, sleep loss, stress, physical injury and physical activity. Among the HIA’s recommendations were the inclusion of an air-filtering system, noise protection and re-orientation of the entrance away from the freeway and toward the community.
Outcomes of the HIA included: 1) a decision to install a central ventilation system with air filters inside housing units and common spaces; and 2) modification of the building design to orient the main entryway through a noise-buffered courtyard facing the existing community.
One resident said: “The way that they designed this building, it’s for your health. We can open up the air purifiers to get fresh air. I’m even on the side facing the freeway but the building is sound-proof, so you can barely hear the traffic. It’s so peaceful. Before I lived here, I had to have shots for asthma and go to the hospital for oxygen to get my breathing down to the right level. Since I’ve lived here, I haven’t had to do that once. I love it.” (Source: Human Impact Partners Fall 2012 newsletter)
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.