Health Impact Assessment and Evidence-based Practice (2017-2020)

Health Impact Assessment

Health Assessments are a way to evaluate past planning outcomes or new planning and design proposals. Projects starting in 2018 will build on work done by the Health and Place Initiative to conduct health (impact) assessments of buildings and neighborhoods.

In 2017 students in the Healthy Places class conducted a health impact assessment of the Wellspring Harvard greenhouse and cooperative business in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2018 students conducted a health lens analysis of development in Boston’s Chinatown, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. In 2020 they looked at transportation infrastructure changes in Allston in Boston.


2020     A. Forsyth. What is a Healthy Place? Models for Cities and Neighborhoods. Journal of Urban Design 25, 2: 186-202.

2019       A. Forsyth. Linking Research and Practice in Planning (editorial). Journal of the American Planning Association 85, 2. Reprinted in revised form as Linking Research and Planning Practice, Planning, April 2019.

2018    A. Forsyth. Evidence-based Practice: Challenges in a Changing World. In T. Beatley, C. Jones, and R. Rainey eds., Healthy Environments, Healing Spaces: Current Practices and Future Directions in Health, City Planning, and Design. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.

  • Chinese translation by L. Wang, Journal of Urban and Regional Planning (2018).

2018     A. Forsyth, Congested Cities vs. Sprawl Makes You Fat: Unpacking the Health Effects of Planning Density, Town Planning Review. 89, 4: 333-354.

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