San Francisco Eastern Neighborhood Community

Authors: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

ENCHIA provided the community with the opportunity and a forum to become meaningfully engaged in discussing issues relevant to a healthier city

Completion Date: September 2007

HIA Report: Eastern Neighborhood Community Health Impact Assessment - Final Report

Summary of the HIA

Proposed Policy or Project

In response to community concerns, the San Francisco Department of Public Health sought to evaluate the health benefits and burdens associated with extensive re-development in several San Francisco neighborhoods, including the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero Hill.

Background and Policy Context

San Francisco, like other metropolitan cities must contend with multiple, often competing interests in making decisions regarding economic and land use development. The Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment (ENCHIA) Project was initiated to ensure that land use planning occurring in the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero Hill/Showplace Square neighborhoods took into account, protected, and improved community health. ENCHIA is a multi-stakeholder assessment process facilitated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Program on Health, Equity, and Sustainability. It is guided by a Community Council of over twenty diverse San Francisco organizations and public agencies.

Scope and Methods

The ENCHIA process recognized that optimal health outcomes are achieved by a combination of health services, individual behaviors, and favorable neighborhood conditions including: adequate housing; access to public transit, schools, parks, public spaces-safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists; meaningful and productive employment; unpolluted air soil and water, and cooperation, trust, and civic participation. A number of community stakeholder meetings were conducted and ultimately the ENCHIA Council and SFDPH staff worked collectively to develop:

  • A Healthy City Vision
  • 27 Community Health Objectives
  • 100 Community Health Indicators
  • 27 Policy/Strategy Briefs
  • A study on health-related working conditions
  • A study on resident’ experiences living and working in the Eastern Neighborhoods.

Summary of Findings

The ENCHIA process resulted in a number of important outcomes. Among them are:

  • Producing a vision of Health San Francisco;
  • Developing community health planning objectives to reflect that Health City Vision;
  • Identifying indicators to measure those objectives and vision;
  • Generating and presenting data on those objectives and indicators to assess how the City was doing with respect to that Vision;
  • Developing research and forecasting tools to relate planning to health outcomes;
  • Developing a menu of urban policy strategies to advance those objective; and,
  • Integrating all of the above products into the Health Development Measurement Tool, an evidence-based support tool for healthy planning and policy-making

ENCHIA's process outcomes include: achieving an increased understanding of the human health impacts of development; the use of public health evidence in public policy dialogues and debates; new working relationships among Council members with complementary interests, and helping to increase the understanding of those working for government agencies. This HIA also reflects the first attempt at a comprehensive health impact assessment of land use planning n the US.

Decisions/Actions following the release of the HIA

The Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plans and rezoning have been adopted by the Board of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor. They will be effective January 19, 2009.

Products Produced

Number of Pages in Final Report: 
Policy Brief: 
Public Meeting/testimony: 

Background Reports


Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH

1390 Market Street, Ste. 822
San Francisco

(415) 252-3982