Scoping Overview

The purpose of the scoping phase is to prioritize the health impacts that the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) will consider, determine the geographical focus of the HIA and establish the research methods the HIA will use to draw conclusions about the potential health effects of the proposed plan.

Health impacts

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council produced a Center City Greenway Feasibility Study, which identified the following as outcomes of the Greenway:

  1. Creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation
  2. Encouraging physical fitness and healthy lifestyles
  3. Protecting the natural environment through sustainable design practices
  4. Promoting transportation alternatives by creating options for non-motorized transportation
  5. Promoting and connecting cultural resources
  6. Stimulating economic development

Our team used these six anticipated outcomes to begin the process of identifying health impacts. We mapped out a number of causal pathways linking the Greenway to both positive and negative health outcomes. After gathering baseline data, we prioritized health impacts that would have the greatest significance on our population of interest and finalized the causal pathways. We determined that there were four pathways with strong and significant linkages to health impacts that would affect the population immediately surrounding Spring Garden. These pathways are:

Geographical focus

Next, we set the geographical area of interest to the two zip codes and ten census tracts that surround Spring Garden. These zip codes are 19130 and 19123. We used zip codes/census tracts as boundaries because the majority of data we accessed was either only available at the zip code level or only statistically significant at the zip code level.

Methods and indicators

Finally, we determined how we would measure each of the health impacts we identified. The team searched databases, websites and reports for indicators, which are quantitative measures that can capture a determinant’s impact on health. We put together a Pathway Assessment Tool for each pathway, which lists the health impact, indicator and sources used. Click below to download a PDF of each Tool.