The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) received a two year planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to collect baseline data and design a longitudinal research study that will measure the impact of environmental conditions, particularly mixed-income, mixed-use, transit oriented real estate development (“TOD”) projects, on health in a variety of Massachusetts neighborhoods. The research study will track environmental conditions and health in neighborhoods targeted for investment in such TOD projects compared to environmental conditions and health in control neighborhoods with similar demographics, built environments and health outcome characteristics over a five- to ten-year period. The study will track neighborhood changes across multiple domains to include economic, social, behavioral, environmental, and health outcome indicators. Taken together, these indicators can help predict and track neighborhood change over time, and provide important new insights about the connections between the built environment, opportunity, behavior, and health. On December 8, 2016, members of the survey teams from Brockton, Fall River and New Bedford met at the YMCA Southcoast headquarters in New Bedford to hear and comment on a preliminary report of some of the findings. Click here and here for additional project web pages. For more information, contact YMCA Project Leader Gail Hartnett Rodrigues at 508-996-9622.

(Top row, left and center) Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Director of Research and Partnerships Vedette Gavin greets YMCA Southcoast Project Leader Gail Hartnett Rodrigues before she and MIT Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning Mariana Arcaya go over last minute details with project researcher Andrew Binet. (Top row, right) YMCA Southcoast President and CEO James Scherer watches as Vice President and CFO Robert Trahan introduces himself to the group. (Row two) Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard listens as Vedette Gavin introduces herself along with Mariana Arcaya and Erina Keefe from MIT. Row three) Andrew goes over the findings of a mind-mapping analysis using some preliminary survey data. (Row three) Andrew  leads a discussion with surveyors Katrina Benner, Amy Blanchette and Eric Andrade from the Flint Neighborhood in Fall River and Raman Sepulveda and Ronel Remy of City Life/Viva Urbana in Brockton. (Bottom row) Marcia Picard, Mass in Motion Fall River Coordinator Julianne Kelly, and Southcoast Health Community Benefits Manager Kerry Mello review the survey questions and suggest additions with Vedette. 

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