Davidson Design for Life

Davidson Design for Life (DD4L) was an initiative of the Town of Davidson, North Carolina to foster healthy community design through the use of health impact assessments (HIA), public participation, and collaborative efforts in Davidson, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region, and North Carolina. In September of 2011, the Town of Davidson received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Community Design Initiative to conduct three HIAs and to train others in conducting HIAs. This grant, which required no direct costs to the town, enabled Davidson to hire a DD4L Coordinator to conduct these HIAs and promote healthy community design.The grant was highly competitive and ranked Davidson equal to public health departments in Oregon, Massachusetts, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Douglas County Nebraska (Omaha). The initiative was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from December 2011 to November 2014. As a result of the initiative, nine HIAs were completed, six HIA trainings took place, including the creation of the Southeast Regional HIA Summit, and a documentary was created. For additional information about the DD4L initiative or the following HIA reports, please contact Katherine Hebert former DD4L Coordinator at khebert@creatingcommunitychange.org.

Health Impact Assessment

HIA is a decision support tool, providing information on the potential health impacts of a policy, plan, project, or program to decision makers (commonly outside of the health sector) prior to the decision being made. The purpose of doing an HIA is to encourage public participation in a democratic, decision-making process when feasible, and to bring the potential health impacts (whether positive or negative) to the attention of decision-makers who then have to weigh this information with other factors of the decision being made. HIA can be used to choose between potential alternatives identified by stakeholders or to make recommendations of ways a proposal can be improved to limit harmful health impacts and promote positive health outcomes.

HIA is a democratic process used to promote health in all policies and incorporates a broad definition of health and the social determinates of health to promote health equity. HIAs have been done all over the United States starting in the early 1990s on a wide variety of topics including transportation projects and plans, economic policy, housing and redevelopment projects, agricultural and nutrition policies, energy and sustainable growth plans, and many more. Each HIA is different and the beauty of the practice of HIA is that as long as the overall process is followed, the data sources and analytic methods used can be changed to meet the needs of each HIA.

2012 HIA Reports:
2013 HIA Reports:
2014 HIA Reports: 

 Other Resources: