Health Disparities, Transportation Equity and Complete Streets: a Case Study of a Policy Development Process through the Lens of Critical Race Theory

Maia Ingram, Rachel Leih, Arlie Adkins, Evren Sonmez, Emily Yetman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Historic disinvestment in transportation infrastructure is directly related to adverse social conditions underlying health disparities in low-income communities of color. Complete Streets policies offer a strategy to address inequities and subsequent public health outcomes. This case study examines the potential for an equity-focused policy process to address systemic barriers and identify potential measures to track progress toward equity outcomes. Critical race theory provided the analytical framework to examine grant reports, task force notes, community workshop/outreach activities, digital stories, and stakeholder interviews. Analysis showed that transportation inequities are entrenched in historically rooted disparities that are perpetuated in ongoing decision-making processes. Intentional efforts to incorporate equity into discussions with community members and representatives contributed to explicit equity language being included in the final policy. The potential to achieve equity outcomes will depend upon policy implementation. Concrete strategies to engage community members and focus city decision-making practices on marginalized and disenfranchised communities are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-886
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Volume97
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Complete streets policy
  • Critical race theory
  • Health disparities
  • Health equity
  • Transportation equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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