A team from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis will investigate the potential health impact of an expansion of the MetroLink light rail system in St. Louis. Led by Dr. Rodrigo Reis, professor at the Brown School, the effort will be the first Health Impact Assessment for transit in the region. Researchers will use data such as traffic, health and economic measures, as well as information from people who live and work near the proposed expansion routes to assess the effects the expansion could have on people’s health.
[Photo: Dr. Rodrigo Reis]
Dr. Reis has conducted similar studies in Brazil and elsewhere. He said health impact assessments have been used in Europe and are becoming more common in the U.S. to help in making policy decisions about urban infrastructure.
The 18-month study is called I-HEAL STL (Improving Health and Environment Access through Light rail in St. Louis) and is being is being funded by a $250,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The research team will include Dr. Sarah Moreland Russell, an assistant professor at the Brown School; Dr. Ross Brownson, Director of the Prevention Research Center, will play an advisory role.WashU