Completing a new neighborhood development is just the beginning of the story. The true success of such targeted investment will come with the changes it brings to a community over time. That’s where Vedette Gavin, CLF’s Director of Research, comes in. “The reality is that the relationship between development and health is extremely complex,” she says.
Why is it so difficult to finance the development of healthy neighborhoods when the benefits to people, communities, and the economy are so profound? The answer, at least in part, lies in the fact that these benefits are not generally measured or accounted for in any systematic way.
For a neighborhood to truly thrive, it needs healthy people, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy with opportunities for all. Improving neighborhood environments can boost health, but traditional financing sources simply aren’t capable of addressing those needs at a project level. Recognizing the complex challenges of building healthy and sustainable communities, three years ago,…
Good health begins at home, in neighborhoods – the places people live, work, play, learn and grow.Years of research have proven that neighborhood environments can help or harm residents’ health. The Healthy Neighborhoods Study aims to better understand the relationship between development, neighborhood conditions, and health.
Our interest in health data and metrics grew out of a collaborative effort to build a new real estate investment fund for transit-oriented development called the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) have created a $30 million private equity fund model that will consider the community, environmental, and health benefits of a proposed project as well as the financial risks and returns. The model, known as the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund (HNEF), will result in investments that have the potential to transform neighborhoods, strengthen population and environmental health, and promote regional equity − while providing investors with financial and social returns.
The triple bottom line has become both a catch phrase and, increasingly, a realistic goal for everyone from investors to activists and urban developers. But in Massachusetts, aging MBTA trains and infrastructure coupled with proposed fare hikes and service cuts stand in the way of achieving the triple-bottom-line promise of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). TOD projects…