Will Kansas City’s New Bike Lane Plan Save Lives, Grow the Local Economy?



Improving safe routes for people to bike can help cities reach their health, equity, economic, and climate change goals. Kansas City, Missouri (10.2% Latino), for example, can save 36 lives every year and increase local spending by $500 million if the city fully implements its bike plan over the next two decades, according to a new study from the University of Missouri Kansas City’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning, and Design. Commissioned by Bike Walk Kansas City, researchers analyzed various social and economic benefits of the Kansas City Bicycle Master Plan. “This research confirms how essential a quality bike network is to so many city goals: safety, health, economic opportunity, and fiscal sustainability,” Bike Walk KC’s Director of Community Planning, ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/4: Moving Beyond Social Needs to Address Social Determinants of Health



Inequities in health arise from social and structural inequities and the policies, laws, and culture that keep them in place. To address inequities that affect health, it is important to make the distinction between individual-level (midstream) interventions to address “social needs,” and community-level (upstream) interventions to address “social determinants.” Individual-level efforts to address social needs are necessary, but not enough. Characterizing these interventions as efforts to address social determinants of health conveys a false sense of progress. "If we, even inadvertently, imply that the social determinants of health can be solved by offering Uber rides to individual patients or by deploying community health navigators, it will be challenging, if not ...

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The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review


Latino minority family moving into affordable housing for health equity

Where you live is significantly linked to how healthy you are. Sadly, U.S. Latino communities face unaffordable housing, unreliable public transportation, and a lack of green space and parks. This limits Latinos’ access to health-promoting assets─medical care, good schools, healthy food, and physical activity. This contributes to health inequities affecting this population. Fortunately, community leaders can adopt dynamic land-use methods, public-private partnerships, and community involvement to build and revitalize Latino neighborhoods. This can create affordable housing, connection to public transportation, and more green spaces. The result is health equity─a fair, just opportunity to achieve the best health possible. Quick Links News Release (PDF) Full Research ...

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Future Research Needs: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


greenway for safe routes to housing and public transit

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Future Research Many of the policy suggestions and strategies highlighted in this review are based upon research performed within urban Latino communities. While many of the suggestions may be applicable to smaller Latino communities, it will be essential to determine if they will be successful when applied to the semi-isolated Latino communities of the “new Latino destinations.” In one sense, because the majority of these policy recommendations hinge upon community activism and solidarity, it may be possible to translate them into the heavily Latino-majority communities found in these small-town and rural areas. However, activism builds upon political ...

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Policy Implications: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


cyclist bike bus public transit

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Conclusions Latinos need affordable housing options, access to reliable, relevantly routed public transportation, and connected, safe, and maintained green spaces for transportation and recreational use. Many societal and economic factors are responsible for the inequitable distribution of funds to support these projects. For instance, it was beyond the scope of this review to fully discuss the historical legacy of disparities. However, with proper political will and community activism, change can be made to improve access to affordable housing, public transportation, and green spaces in all types of Latino communities. A common theme across the research has ...

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Strategy: Latino Community Involvement Can Spur Environmental Justice


community activism in park green space for environmental justice

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Neighborhood development initiatives in Latino communities that rely upon “bottom-up” activism, a wide public-private partnership network, and “cultural brokers” have been effective at driving and maintaining long-term community change, especially in the context of environmental justice in Latino communities. Green Space Access Is an Environmental Justice Issue Over the past two decades, uneven access to green space has become an important environmental justice issue as awareness of its contribution to public health has become more widely recognized [33, 52]. In general, racial/ethnic minorities and low-income people have less access to ...

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Strategy: Green Space Projects Can Boost Latino Health


latino father son in a green space park

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Green space initiatives that take community concerns, needs, and desires into consideration may be most effective at improving Latino physical and mental well-being. Green spaces support public health in many ways—they filter air, remove pollution, attenuate noise, cool temperatures, replenish ground water, mitigate stormwater, and can provide food [53, 54]. Beyond these benefits, however, are the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of green space, as discussed below. Green Spaces Benefit Latino Physical Health Policies and programs that specifically work to improve these conditions in Latino communities will go a long way to increasing the ...

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Research: Latino Communities Lack Accessible Green Space



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Latino communities lack green spaces that are safe, accessible, functional, and culturally relevant. What Are Green Spaces? Within urban, suburban, and rural communities, green space can be natural or maintained outdoor public space, such as parks, playgrounds, sporting fields, school yards, day care and early care yards, greenways/trails, tree-lined sidewalks, community gardens, nature conservation areas, forests, as well as less conventional urban “green alleyways,” “pocket parks,” and green walls or roofs [52]. Green Space Inequities Exist Unfortunately, access to and quality of green space is not equitably distributed. Compared with ...

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Introduction & Methods: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


tower of affordable housing

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Abstract Across the United States, Latino communities vary in affordable housing, safe and adequate transit, parks and open green space, and other elements that are necessary to fully thrive and achieve health equity. These differences in opportunity result in health disparities between different zip codes or census tracts—with poor health outcomes more prevalent in communities of color and low-income communities. It is perhaps even more critical to address these underlying social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health than to address the health disparities directly if we are to hope for long term changes in community health and ...

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