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Case Study San Franciscos Use Of Neighborhood Indicators To Encourage Healthy Urban Development

Author: Rajiv Bhatia
$15.00

Neighborhood indicators are quantitative measures of neighborhood quality, including measures of attributes such as crime, noise, proximity to parks, transit services, social capital, and student performance. In 2007 the San Francisco Department of Public Health, with broad public input, developed a comprehensive system of neighborhood indicators to inform, influence, and monitor decisions made by the Department of City Planning and other community development institutions. Local public agencies, businesses, and citizens’ groups used the indicators to identify disparities in environmental and social conditions, inform and shape neighborhood land use plans, select appropriate sites for development projects, craft new environmental regulations, and justify demands on developers to make financial contributions to community infrastructure. Among other things, the use of indicators contributed to policies to prevent residential displacement, a city ordinance requiring stricter building ventilation standards in areas with high air pollution, and the redeployment of traffic police to high-injury corridors. Data that can be used to create neighborhood indicators are increasingly available, and participation by public health and health care institutions in the indicators’ development, dissemination, and application could help improve several conditions that contribute to poor population health.

Neighborhood indicators are quantitative measures of neighborhood quality, including measures of attributes such as crime, noise, proximity to parks, transit services, social capital, and student performance. In 2007 the San Francisco Department of Public Health, with broad public input, developed a comprehensive system of neighborhood indicators to inform, influence, and monitor decisions made by the Department of City Planning and other community development institutions. Local public agencies, businesses, and citizens’ groups used the indicators to identify disparities in environmental and social conditions, inform and shape neighborhood land use plans, select appropriate sites for development projects, craft new environmental regulations, and justify demands on developers to make financial contributions to community infrastructure. Among other things, the use of indicators contributed to policies to prevent residential displacement, a city ordinance requiring stricter building ventilation standards in areas with high air pollution, and the redeployment of traffic police to high-injury corridors. Data that can be used to create neighborhood indicators are increasingly available, and participation by public health and health care institutions in the indicators’ development, dissemination, and application could help improve several conditions that contribute to poor population health.

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