West North Avenue Streetscape Plan

At a Glance:

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Date: 2015

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Belonging and Civic Muscle, Humane Housing, Reliable Transportation

Determinants of Health: belonging and civic muscle, active transportation, transit system, neighborhood safety, affordable housing, parks, housing, built environment

Affected Population: People Living in Poverty

Research Methods: Primary research, Literature review

Community Types: urban

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The Baltimore City Health Department conducted an HIA of the West North Avenue Streetscape Plan, an urban redevelopment project for a major east-west corridor in the city. The HIA sought to determine the impacts of alternative streetscape design features on the health of residents and to identify design priorities that would promote community health.

Consultation with community members revealed five areas of greatest concern to residents: crime, social cohesion, commercial development, walkability, and housing prices. The HIA report recommended that the plan address these issues by including installation of sidewalk and bus stop lighting, development of vacant buildings for housing and commercial use, conversion of empty lots into community gardens and playgrounds, redevelopment of blocks and lots associated with the sale of illicit drugs, and planting of trees and plants along sidewalks. The report also recommended that the city implement protections against displacement, such as tax credits for current residents and creation of low-income housing units.

The HIA was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Community Design Initiative.

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.

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