The Simon/Tanger Outlet Mall Health Impact Assessment: Resulting in Active Transportation through Community Connectivity
Background: One of the goals of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), The Simon/Tanger Outlet Mall Health Impact Assessment was to assess potential health implications in providing opportunities for active transportation to the Simon/Tanger Outlet Mall in Berkshire Township, Delaware County, Ohio by community connectivity.
Methods: This case study was conducted by using the Health Impact Assessment model and incorporated community input through survey methodologies, assessment protocols, best practices, and peer-reviewed literature.
Results: Many of the risk factors for chronic diseases can be traced on how communities have been built. Several pathways have been identified in the research linking built environments with travel patterns, physical activity levels, body mass index, and associated health outcomes. Residential density, land use mix, and neighborhood connectivity have all been consistently associated with multiple outcomes related to good health. By making neighborhoods more walkable, we not only can create converging health benefits, but environmental benefits and more equal access to jobs and opportunities. Emerging research on the presence of sidewalks, cycling infrastructure, street design, and building placement and site design have been linked to various health and health-related travel behavior outcomes.
Conclusions: Continuing modifications to the built environment provide opportunities, over time, to institute policies and practices that support the provision of more activity-conducive environments, which improve the community’s health.
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