The Public Health Law Center will conduct an HIA to examine the ways in which decisions about school location and building design can affect health to inform revisions to the Minnesota Department of Education’s school construction and siting guidelines. School design features important to health could include improvements to bike and pedestrian access that increase opportunities for physical activity and reduce the risk of injury; indoor air quality that reduces the risk of respiratory problems such as asthma; and the availability of facilities to store and prepare fresh, healthy food options, which can affect students’ diets and the risk of problems such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. School facilities can also offer health-related benefits through supporting other uses, such as shelters in the case of emergencies and facilities for community exercise programs. The HIA will provide evidence-based recommendations on how to locate, design, and manage school facilities in a way that maximizes student learning while also supporting improved health for community members.
This HIA is funded through support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.