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An Eco-Health Index from EnviroAtlas Community Metrics
Cochran, F., L. Jackson, A. Neale, R. Silva, Betsy Smith, AND L. Tran. An Eco-Health Index from EnviroAtlas Community Metrics. A Community on Ecosystem Services (ACES), Crystal City, VA, December 03 - 06, 2018.
To convey and solicit feedback on a novel, multi-metric urban ecosystem-services index of neighborhood public health
To support human health and well-being, ecosystem services (ES) need to be fully understood and incorporated into local decision-making. Geospatial tools, such as the EnviroAtlas developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and partners, allow decision-makers, public health professionals, urban planners, and other stakeholders to view and assess information from multiple ES metrics. To facilitate and possibly expedite decision-making related to urban ecosystem services and human health, ES indices can be created at the community or neighborhood level. This presentation introduces a framework and method for aggregating geospatial ES metrics to map a Community Eco-Health Index (CEHI). The eco-health framework and index include health promotion and hazard buffering ES metrics, such as walking distance to parks and tree buffer along busy roadways. An urbanization factor is included so as not to penalize densely-populated units. Aggregation of the selected metrics involves a weighted Euclidean distance measure, and objective, data-driven weights were generated for each community. The CEHI was calculated by Census Block Group (CBG) for over 20 EnviroAtlas featured communities. CEHI rated CBGs as between one to five stars, where one star indicates lower and five stars indicates higher ES for public health benefits. Of the featured communities, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota exhibited the highest proportion of four- and five-star CBGs or neighborhoods. The associations between CEHI and health outcome data were assessed in mixed effects models using the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Sister Study. Ultimately, socio-economic data could be overlaid or combined with CEHI in EnviroAtlas to better understand discrepancies among neighborhood ES and improve decision-making for human health and well-being. This abstract has been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Agency.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION