I-HEAL STL: 2017-2018

I-HEAL STL (Improving Health and Environment Access through Light-rail in St. Louis)

Project Dates: July 2017 to December 2018

Project Description: This Health Impact Assessment (HIA) includes opinions of residents near the proposed routes gathered through community meetings and focus groups, and existing census data and health surveys to make projections on how the two potential light-rail routes will affect physical activity and obesity due to possible increased walking. Increased access to health services is another factor to be measured.

Project Goals:

  • To understand the health consequences that will affect the community as a result of the MetroLink system expansion and ultimately inform regional policy-making and planning for better health outcomes across metropolitan St. Louis.
  • To build an inter-disciplinary, cross-sector, collaborative team of researchers, practitioners, community organizations, and community stakeholders in St. Louis region to strengthen the capacity for implementing an HIA.
  • To conduct an HIA of neighborhoods directly affected by two proposed MetroLink expansion routes with participation by local agencies and community organizations.
  • To examine the potential effects on public health of proposed expansion of the MetroLink system in St. Louis, Missouri.

Implications for Research and Practice:

This project will produce specific recommendations to address the key health impacts identified from community input and scientific evidence. The recommendations will include any decision alternatives (e.g., attracting one type of business versus another for the retail space), modification to the proposed project (e.g., enhance pedestrian infrastructure), or mitigation measures (e.g., process of dealing with displaced residents or businesses).

Project Contact:

Rodrigo Reis, PhD: reis.rodrigo@wustl.edu

Project Staff:

Principal Investigator: Rodrigo Reis, PhD
Investigators: Sarah Moreland-Russell, PhD; Ross Brownson, PhD
Research Assistants: August Mense and William Walser

Funding Source:

Missouri Foundation for Health