Executive Park Sub-Area Plan

Authors: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Completion Date: March 2007

HIA Report:

Summary of the HIA

Proposed Policy or Project

The Executive Park Subarea plan is a project that proposes to convert a relatively unassuming office park east of U.S. 101 in San Francisco, into a contemporary residential neighborhood.

Background and Policy Context

The Executive Park Subarea Plan Health Impact Assessment summarizes the results from the first pilot application of San Francisco's Healthy Development Measurement Tool (HDMT) to this particular Executive Park land use development plan.

HDMT is a new approach for evaluating land use planning and urban development with regards to the achievement of human health needs. The HDMT was created by the San Francisco Department of Public Health through a unique collaboration among development stakeholders and public agencies in San Francisco. Using public health to connect the needs of health and human development to physical and environmental conditions, the HDMT provides a systematic assessment approach to simultaneously consider effects of development on six overarching domains- environmental stewardship, transportation, housing, public infrastructure, public safety, and the economy. The HDMT provides a set of metrics of community health for San Francisco, baseline data on these metrics and development targets to assess the extent to which urban development projects and plans can improve community health. The HDMT also provides a range of policy and design strategies that can advance health conditions and resources via developmental process.

The subject of this first application of the HDMT is the Executive Park Subarea Plan, which proposes to build 2,800 units of new residential housing on a 71-acre area in the southeastern corner of San Francisco. This analysis evaluates the Plan against 84 community health indicators and 87 related targets for healthy development.

Scope and Methods

Based on this evaluation, chief strengths of The Plan include:

  • The goal of becoming the first sustainable neighborhood in San Francisco
  • Design guidelines that promote green building and access to open space
  • The creation of an impact fee to fund community benefits in the surrounding neighborhood

The evaluation also highlighted a number of improvement opportunities, including:

  • Increasing specificity (e.g., in implementing actions) to achieve Plan goals and policies
  • Attending to the area's geographical isolation by improving transportation systems and access to goods and services
  • Coordinating the Plan's objectives with other area development projects, such as Schlage Lock, the Bayview Transportation Improvement Project, Candlestick Park and Hunters Point Shipyard

The HDMT Sustainability Spider Diagram provides a visual representation of this evaluation of the Executive Park Subarea Plan against HDMT objectives. This diagram illustrates that the Executive Park Subarea Plan, as written, would achieve roughly 50% of the analyzable HDMT minimum development targets and 20% of the analyzable benchmark or maximum development targets for the six HDMT elements.

Summary of Findings

This first pilot application of the HDMT to a land use plan has demonstrated that it is possible to comprehensively and constructively assess development plans with an eye towards promoting healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. This application also revealed various strengths and limitations of the HDMT and identified ways to improve its content and the application process. Key considerations in future HDMT applications include reducing the amount of staff resources needed to complete an application, standardizing the dept of analysis across HDMT elements when collectively analyzing a plan, efficiently obtaining public information that may be needed to achieve a thorough evaluation, and gaining familiarity with a project area and surrounding neighborhoods. The report identifies a number of recommendations to address each of these needs, and subsequent HDMT applications have been structured differently to address lessons learned from this pilot application.

Background Reports

Contact

Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH

1390 Market Street, Ste. 822
San Francisco
,
California
94102

(415) 252-3982