Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the introduction of the Health Impact Statement resolution into the City Council.
Introduced by City Council Member Helen Diane Foster at the behest of Borough President Diaz, the Health Impact Assessment Resolution calls for a new citywide policy guaranteeing that significant health related analysis will occur prior to planning, zoning, and development.
The policy would ensure that new development does not have an adverse impact on the health and well-being of neighborhoods across the City. The Health Impact Statement assessment would evaluate health impacts and outcomes not currently addressed by Environmental Impact Assessments.
“My administration, together with our City Council delegation, has taken steps toward making our building stock more environmentally-friendly and now more health conscious. I believe that together, we can determine how the utilization of these policies will lead to improved health outcomes not just here in the Bronx, but across the City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz first mentioned the importance of health impact assessments during his State of the Borough address last year and on January 10, 2012, Borough President Diaz hosted the Bronx’s first Health Impact Assessment planning meeting at Hostos Community College.
In the meeting representatives from government, education, health, and not-for-profit agencies, highlighted how the well-being of communities is determined by a wide range of economic, social, and environmental influences, and discussed how the utilization of the Health Impact Assessment will lead to improving health among Bronx residents.
The Health Impact Assessment Resolution also calls for increased collaboration between the Department of City Planning, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to ensure that health is regularly taken into account in development-related decision-making.