Health Evaluation of the Neighborhoods Law Phase 2


Project Title: Health Evaluation of the Neighborhoods Law Phase 2
PI name(s): Amy Bohnert,
Co-I name(s): Funding (sponsor): National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Summary

The overarching goal of the Health Evaluation of the Neighborhoods Law Phase 2 (HENL2) study is: to examine the long-term effects of the Neighborhoods Law, an urban renewal program in Barcelona, Spain, on the health and health inequities of residents; compare these outcomes to previous short-term effects

Abstract

Urban renewal (also referred to as regeneration or revitalization) go beyond the repair of physical and aesthetic components of the built environment to also address some of the social problems and improve human habitat while promoting sustainability. However, urban renewal programs tend to exclude health considerations and have even been accused of worsening social and physical environments by contributing to social exclusion or gentrification and promoting a greater dependence on cars, all associated with poor health conditions. Few urban renewal programs actively target health and promote health equity and while research in this area is emerging, barriers in data collection and analysis have made it difficult to study some of the long-term effects of these programs on health. The overarching goal of the Health Evaluation of the Neighborhoods Law Phase 2 (HENL2) study is: to examine the long-term effects of the Neighborhoods Law, an urban renewal program in Barcelona, Spain, on the health and health inequities of residents; compare these outcomes to previous short-term effects; and translate research findings into intervention and policy recommendations to reduce health inequities. The Neighborhoods Law (NL), one of the largest urban renewal programs in Europe, was implemented in 2004. From 2004 to 2011, 15 of 73 neighborhoods participated resulting in approximately 10% of the 1.6 million population being affected by the projects. The proposed study will use repeated cross-sectional data from the Barcelona Health Survey to examine the effects of the NL on health and health inequalities of residents living in areas intervened and those in non-intervened comparison neighborhoods. Findings from these studies will contribute to the limited evidence available on long-term effects of urban renewal programs that would help highlight the importance of public health considerations in the planning, implementation and evaluation of such programs. Furthermore, Barcelona is of special interest to cities like New York and Chicago for its `transformative remaking’ of streets and is at the forefront of urban changes that are then modeled both in the United States (US) and globally. Therefore, an understanding of the impact of some of these programs on the health and wellbeing of residents is an important component of successful implementation in US cities.