Children playing at the International Fountain located at Seattle Center.

Equity Tracker

Communities & Health

Communities and health are major focus areas within the Development Patterns section of VISION 2050. Ensuring that the region’s communities are well-connected and designed in ways that provide residents with the resources they require helps to improve the quality of life for all. 

Responsible community investment in the development of the built environment can support residents' housing, job, and health needs, leading to access to opportunity and improved life outcomes. Access to services such as health insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) along with health outcomes like life expectancy and cardiovascular disease mortality can provide insights into communities that face disadvantages resulting from historic and continued inequitable systems. Identifying these disparities can shed light on issues communities are facing so jurisdictions can take steps to address them and improve the region's overall health.

Drivers of Inequity

Past overtly discriminatory government policies, such as redlining, and the absence of policies that attempt to rectify past practices are some of the factors contributing to present inequities and health disparities. Inequities can often lead to poor health outcomes, with historically disadvantaged communities experiencing the greatest health disparities such as shorter life spans, higher rates of chronic illnesses and struggling with food security. Reducing these disparities through inclusive community planning and targeted investments increases access to opportunities for all residents.

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