Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) have created a $30 million private equity fund model that will consider the community, environmental, and health benefits of a proposed project as well as the financial risks and returns. The model, known as the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund (HNEF), will result in investments that have the potential to transform neighborhoods, strengthen population and environmental health, and promote regional equity − while providing investors with financial and social returns.
This Health Impact Assessment (HIA) examines the potential health impacts that could result from investments made by the HNEF. The analysis was conducted by using three Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects in the City of Boston (Bartlett Place, Madison Tropical Parcel 10, and Parcel 25), and their cumulative impacts as case studies, since they are potentially aligned with the type of projects that the HNEF would support.
The results of the HIA are intended to help define the health-related metrics of the HNEF, as well as to inform interested developers and potential investors about the anticipated social and economic changes that could result from HNEF (and by association any TOD) supported projects.
Why it’s important
The HIA focused on 12 ways that TOD can affect health.
These focus areas, called pathways, can affect health outcomes and chronic conditions such as obesity, stress, mental health, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, injuries, and premature mortality.
Ultimately, this HIA contributes to the growing evidence between TOD and health. The following table summarizes recommendations in relation to each pathway, providing the HNEF with areas to focus on to maximize the health-related benefits of TOD investment.