Health Benefits of Superblocks

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SSI Founding Director and Professor John P. Wilson, Ph.D.,  and Kenan Li, Ph.D., a former SSI research scientist, have published a paper on "Modeling the Health Benefits of Superblocks across the City of Los Angeles" in Applied Sciences. The article was published on February 6, 2023.

The term "Superblocks" entered the urban planning vocabulary in 2020 and refers to the assembly of many small blocks created by a street grid system into one large block. The model is best known for its adoption by the Barcelona City Council. In the Barcelona Superblocks model, interventions are used within the territory of a Superblock to reduce motorized transport, increase urban greening to mitigate the effects of climate change, and to improve neighborhood conditions that promote walkability and social interaction.

In this paper, Li, now assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University, and Wilson propose a Superblocks model for the City of Los Angeles. They conducted a series of analyses using BenMap-CE and the i-Trees tools to estimate the health and economics benefits of implementing a generalizable Los Angeles Superblocks model.

Their analyses shows that Superblock interventions can help cities such as Los Angeles moderate the impacts of climate change, noise and air pollution, urbanization and the limited availability of urban green space.

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