Final HIA Report Released April 2013
Health impact assessment (HIA) provides decision-makers with information about how any policy, program, or project may affect the health of people. The Climate Smart Communities Scenarios HIA (CSCS HIA) describes the health impacts of proposed carbon-reduction strategies to decision-makers, and ensures that the best health-promoting elements are included in the preferred scenario.
Transportation and health
Transportation produces 25% of our region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, contributing to a warming climate that could severely impact our health and quality of life. Our climate is already changing, and the way we work together to prevent future changes will have both immediate and long-term impacts on our well being. Changes in policies and infrastructure could limit exposure to air and noise pollution, encourage us to be more physically active, and reduce traffic-related injuries and deaths. By understanding impacts, tradeoffs and unintended consequences, we can both reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve the health of everyone in our region.
The CSCS HIA brought together public health experts; land use, planning and transportation experts; and community health, environmental and community-development advocates. The advisory group helped determine the scope of the HIA, ensured that equity issues were considered, and offered available resources and expertise for consideration. A process and impact evaluation of Advisory Committee member perceptions of engagement and participation strategies related to the CSCS HIA was performed in conjunction with the report's release and is available by request.
In the assessment, OHA describes the direction and magnitude of health impacts for the CSCS policy strategies that have been prioritized by the advisory group. The following analytic methods were used based on our scope and resources: literature review and health effects modeling.
The Climate Smart Community Scenario Planning is taking place in three phases from 2011 to 2014. During phase 1, Metro developed tools to determine which scenarios will help our region meet its GHG reduction goals. In phase 2, Metro will narrow the range of alternatives, and prioritize strategies to be included in a draft preferred scenario. The CSCS HIA is intended to inform Phase 2 of Metro's planning effort, which will include the development and evaluation of three alternative scenarios. In spring 2013, the Metro Council will direct staff to move forward to test the three alternatives developed in Phase 2 after gathering input from other community and business members. Results will be released in fall 2013 and a preferred scenario selected and implemented by the end of 2014. Visit Metro’s website for more information.