Using Local Data to Address Abandoned Property: Lessons Learned From a Community Health Partnership
- Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 11, Issue 2, Summer 2017
- pp. 175-182
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The Problem: A growing body of research highlights the role of the built environment in promoting or impeding health. This research suggests that environmental issues like abandoned properties exact a toll on physical and mental health.
Purpose: We describe a community partnership aimed at improving community health through equitable land use policies and blight remediation.
Key Points: A collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Operation Better Block, Inc. (OBB), a community development corporation in Pittsburgh, was formed. We implemented an intervention to address property abandonment using data-driven techniques. In addition to successful advocacy for city-wide policies addressing abandonment, 80% of the properties that were part of our intervention were improved or addressed by the city.
Conclusions: Balancing the needs of community and academic partners can be challenging, but our experiences suggest that community health partnerships to address built environmental issues may be an important conduit to health promotion.