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How healthy community advocates can support equitable development and prevent displacement

In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of initiatives to design healthier communities. Bike lanes, parks, urban trails, public transit, grocery stores—these efforts are clearly intended to improve community health and safety. 

Yet too often, these interventions—combined with shifting job and housing markets—increase the likelihood that low- and middle- income households and people of color get squeezed out of housing and business markets, rather than benefiting from investment and development. 

Enhancements to community conditions should support the health of all residents. Instead, gentrification often leads to displacement. What can those of us working to improve community conditions in fields like transportation, parks and open space, food justice, planning, public health, and philanthropy do to ensure that our efforts align with affordable housing strategies and don’t contribute to displacement? 

“For public health researchers and practitioners, preventing displacement may be the single greatest challenge and the most important task in our collective efforts to create healthy communities for all.”

–Dr. Muntu Davis, Health Officer and Public Health Director,

Alameda County, California

Prevention Institute’s new report, Healthy Development without Displacement: Realizing the Vision of Healthy Communities for All takes a public health approach to preventing displacement. That means exploring the root causes of displacement, risk factors that make displacement more likely, and resilience factors that protect individuals and communities against displacement. After examining data on the health equity impacts associated with displacement, the report shares preliminary strategies that multiple sectors can use in their own work and through their partnerships to help prevent displacement and support stable and healthy communities. To further guide practitioners in the field, the report also highlights organizations, researchers, and communities leading these efforts.  

Prevention Institute building

Putting Land Use to Work for Health Equity blog: 

As we navigate an unfamiliar political landscape in the wake of the 2016 elections, a few bright spots stand out, especially the decisive stand Los Angeles County voters took to support land use policies and investments that will make LA a healthier, safer, and more equitable place to live.

Promoting safe relationships through supportive, equitable community environments:

Our new report  draws the connection between community environments and health and safety in our intimate relationships. Community environments that support safe relationships include those with norms that support gender equity and engagement in family matters, strong community responses to domestic violence, and housing and economic stability, among other factors. Download the report to learn more.

Strategic Opportunities to Create a Healthy, Equitable Land Use System in Los Angeles: 

This policy brief outlines four key strategies to move Los Angeles to a healthier, more equitable land use system, and highlights a selection of policy examples and key opportunities. 

Contact Info:

Phone: 510-444-7738

Email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org

Prevention Institute
221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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