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The Healthy Corridor for All, Health Impact Assessment


Healthy Corridor for All

A Community Health Impact Assessment of Transit-Oriented Development Policy in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Twin Cities region is planning at least four transit corridors, the first of which is the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Line (CCLRT) that is currently under construction. The CCLRT is an 11-mile transit corridor along University Avenue connecting downtown Minneapolis with downtown Saint Paul. The CCLRT is a $1 billion transit investment estimated to spur as much as $6.78 billion in public and private investment in local development over the next 20 years.

The Central Corridor, home to over 60,000 people in the Saint Paul segment, passes through some of the region's most diverse and most low-income communities, including the second largest Hmong population in the United States, a large Somali refugee population, as well as Rondo, a historic African American community that was devastated after Interstate 94 was built straight through their community.

This time, with opportunity knocking in the form of increased transit access and public and private investment, the Central Corridor (CC) communities did not want history to repeat itself. While looking forward to benefiting from the new transit line and increased public and private investment, they voiced fear that they may ultimately be involuntarily displaced due to increased housing and business costs and began to worry that the large-scale community changes may lead to cultural and social upheaval with the communities' health taking a toll.


Healthy Corridor for All - technical report 



Healthy Corridor for All - Summary


Project Description

Responding to community concerns, ISAIAH, TakeAction Minnesota and PolicyLink launched the Healthy Corridor for All Health Impact Assessment (HIA) project to understand the potential impacts of the proposed transit-oriented land use changed on the communities that live in the Central Corridor. The project was directed by a Community Steering Committee (CSC) comprised of community leaders representing diverse constituencies in the Central Corridor. A diverse and experienced Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) supported the HIA at every step of the way.

The goals of the Healthy Corridor for All Health Impact Assessment were to:

  • Assess the impacts of the rezoning proposal on community health, health inequities and underlying conditions that determine health in the Central Corridor.
  • Ensure positive health benefits are maximized and negative health impacts are addressed by the decision-making process.
  • Empower Central Corridor local communities to meaningfully engage in the rezoning process.

The core values that guided this HIA include equity, community empowerment, collaboration, accountability and scientific integrity.

Project Focus Areas

The Healthy Corridor for All HIA began with an intense process where the CSC prioritized three key focus areas with a set of objectives and indicators. These focus areas and objectives are:

Healthy Economy

  • Objective 1: High Quality, Healthy Jobs that Increase Wealth, Income, and Equity for All Residents
  • Objective 2: Diverse, Local Businesses—Existing and New—Are Developed and Supported

Affordable, Healthy Housing

  • Objective 3: Protect Residents from Negative Impacts of Gentrification
  • Objective 4: Construct and Preserve Affordable and Diverse Housing In Proportion to Demand

Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Objective 5: Maintain and Improve Affordable and Accessible Transportation
  • Objective 6: Safe, Connected Biking & Walking To, From, and Across Transit Stops

The project team analyzed over 50 indicators to assess the current conditions of the Central Corridor and forecast future impacts of the rezoning in relation to the six objectives listed above.

The Report

The Healthy Corridor for All: A Community Health Impact Assessment of Transit-Oriented Development Policy in Saint Paul, Minnesota Summary includes an overview of the project, describes the key findings, discusses impacts and identifies recommendations. Click here to access the summary.

A lengthier technical report is available for those interested in reviewing the full set of findings, a detailed description of the methodology and a more extensive description of the issues. Click here to access the technical report.

The technical report features:

  • Detailed description of the complex land use and community dynamics in the Central Corridor
  • Detailed methodology for the analysis
  • Findings from all of the indicators
  • An inventory of policy recommendations
  • Robust description of the findings and implications of the project on the policy and on the community

For More Information

For more information on this project or on the reports please contact:

Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate at PolicyLink
(510) 663.4332

Kate Hess Pace, Project Manager at ISAIAH
(612) 333-1260 ext. 217

Amee Xiong, Hmong Community and Political Organizer
Phone: 651-379-0754

Healthy Corridor for All was primarily supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as a contract from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Center for Prevention and a grant from The Kresge Foundation. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Health Impact Project, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, or other funding partners.