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Open AccessArticle

Mobilizing for Community Benefits to Assess Health and Promote Environmental Justice near the Gordie Howe International Bridge

1
Department of Health & Human Services, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
2
Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition, Detroit, MI 48209, USA
3
Health Behavior Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4
Detroit Health Department, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
5
Department of Anesthesiology, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
6
Center for Global Health Equity, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
7
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Detroit, MI 48209, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4680; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134680
Received: 28 May 2020 / Revised: 17 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
Transportation infrastructure decisions contribute to social, economic, and health inequities in the U.S. Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) may improve understanding of potential strategies to mitigate adverse effects on quality of life from planned developments. We use the Gordie Howe International Bridge (GHIB), currently under construction in southwest Detroit, MI, as a case study to examine 15 years of community mobilization, which resulted in community benefits that included an HIA. We describe community engagement processes, household survey methods, and select findings of the baseline HIA, with a focus on their application to inform recommendations to promote quality of life. Baseline HIA results indicated significantly higher self-reported asthma rates among children living within 500 feet of trucking routes. Residents reported substantial economic (e.g., decreased home values), health (e.g., adverse outcomes, lack of health care access), and environmental (e.g., air pollution) concerns related to the GHIB. We discuss specific recommendations, based on HIA results, to reduce adverse impacts of the GHIB. These recommendations will inform ongoing community benefits negotiations. This case study provides lessons for community, academic, and government partners conducting HIAs, especially during building and operation of major infrastructure, and discusses their potential role in improving community engagement opportunities towards environmental justice. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; community benefits; environmental justice; Health Impact Assessment; goods movement; transportation infrastructure; community-based participatory research air pollution; community benefits; environmental justice; Health Impact Assessment; goods movement; transportation infrastructure; community-based participatory research
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Sampson, N.; Sagovac, S.; Schulz, A.; Fink, L.; Mentz, G.; Reyes, A.; Rice, K.; de Majo, R.; Gamboa, C.; Vial, B. Mobilizing for Community Benefits to Assess Health and Promote Environmental Justice near the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4680.

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