Atlanta BeltLine HIA To Improve Health
Dr. Catherine Ross, director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, recently announced that the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) conducted on the Atlanta BeltLine will lead to tangible health benefits for Atlanta residents. In the HIA, Ross's team noted that the BeltLine's parks and trails would promote physical activity and improve access to jobs, grocery stores, and other amenities, particularly for the area's most vulnerable households. These findings attracted the attention of BeltLine promoters as well as the health insurance industry. In June, 2010, Kaiser Permanente donated $2.5 million for construction of the trail along one segment of the BeltLine. The contribution matched another $2.5 million from Jim and Sarah Kennedy and PATH Foundation. The donors cited physical activity and healthy communities as motivation for their gifts. This additional funding will allow several miles of walking and bicycling pathway to be built years ahead of schedule, bringing better health in reach of Atlanta residents.