Findings from a scan of promising equitable transportation and land use policies and practices, as well as discussions with subject matter experts, illuminated six key ingredients that could result in reduced health inequities and improved health outcomes in historically disinvested communities, including communities of color. The six key ingredients are:
- Equitable policies and practices are based on a health equity and racial justice assessment (e.g., Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) and Health Impact Assessment) that paint a clear picture of racialized inequities and clarifies how historical and contemporary community conditions impact racialized population groups of interest.
- Equitable policies and practices articulate the intent to resolve inequities identified in health equity and racial justice assessments. When a policy explicitly articulates the intent of policymakers to resolve inequities through the proposed policy measure, it can help bolster the process of equitable implementation.
- Equitable policies and practices may neutralize threats to community safety, stability, and continual access to places to walk, roll, bike, and use transit. Access to physical activity opportunities relates to physical and non-physical barriers—both real and perceived—to walking, rolling, biking, and using transit including the freedom to move about public spaces, streets, and sidewalks without fear of discrimination, harassment, injury, or violence.
- Equitable policies and practices require inclusive community engagement. When public agencies and decision makers use inclusive community participation processes involving historically marginalized or excluded groups, they can make policy decisions informed by community residents that may result in more equitable outcomes.
- Equitable policies and practices should explicitly include equity provisions in their language that address/redress procedural, distributional, and structural factors to improve health outcomes and close gaps. Equitable strategies should address systemic barriers in government policies, practices, and procedures to reverse racial health inequities.
- Equitable policies and practices mandate transparent monitoring and evaluation to ensure continuous improvement throughout implementation. Transparent monitoring and evaluation help decision-makers and community members assess whether a policy’s intended goals and objectives are being met, and create opportunities for continuous improvement during implementation.
Policies and practices do not necessarily have to include all six ingredients for equitable outcomes. However, each ingredient can play a critical role in facilitating health equity and racial justice related outcomes. In addition to the six ingredients, it is imperative to understand local community context and the history of systemic racism and discrimination in transportation and land use and how past and present policies maintain or exacerbate racial health inequities. Even with promising policies and practices on the books, accountability is essential to successful implementation through inclusive engagement processes and transparent monitoring and evaluation strategies. For more information about just and fair implementation and accountability of governments, see Factors that Drive Implementation of Equitable Land Use and Transportation Equity Policies.