Planning and Community Health Research Center

Health Impact Assessments

There has been a growing awareness and recognition of the impact of community design, land use, transportation systems, food systems, and other environmental and social factors on the health of people and place. Yet few policymakers, health officials, and planners are trained or have experience in the intersection between these issues and health.

A health impact assessment (HIA), as defined by the World Health Organization, is "a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged in terms of its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population."

In practice, an HIA is part of a systematic approach to identifying the differential health impacts of proposed and implemented policies, programs, and projects within an equitable, sustainable, and ethical framework.

The HIA is a valuable tool that can be used to integrate health into the decision-making process and enhance communication between multiple stakeholders, including health and planning practitioners and policymakers.

Online Course

Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments

This online training course is a "how to" guide for conducting health impact assessments (HIA), developed by the American Planning Association and the National Association of County & City Health Officials, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.