by Julia D. Day
If you're reading this blog, chances are you care deeply about achieving equitable outcomes. But how do you know if you're making progress?
Working for health equity—defined as “all people having a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible” (1)—is necessary, but how do we know when we have created environments that foster equity? And how do we ensure that terms like equity and inclusion aren’t just flimsy buzzwords, or worse, used to “equity-wash” something that isn’t equitable at all?
To address these concerns, Gehl (an urban research and design consulting firm) teamed up with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and colleagues at the former Gehl Institute, to create the Inclusive Healthy Places Framework, which defines principles and metrics to guide and evaluate public space projects that support health equity (2). The Framework aims to demonstrate that public realm is a key component of health equity, and to create a platform through which more cross-sector partnerships can develop.