Planning »

Natural Partners: Community Development and Community Health

October 8, 2014 – 3:11 pm |

Quick links:

Read the full report here.

Read an executive summary here

Read about MAPC’s work on the CITC HIA and view video

MAPC’s public health team is excited to announce the release of the Community Investment Tax …

Read the full story »

Planning »

Natural Partners: Community Development and Community Health

October 8, 2014 – 3:11 pm |







Quick links:

MAPC’s public health team is excited to announce the release of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) Health Impact Assessment (HIA), a groundbreaking report prepared in partnership with Health Resources in Action and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that links the fields of community development and health together.

The catalyst for this report was the CITC program: an innovative piece of legislation that awards state-certified Community Development Corporations (CDCs) with tax credits that they can then use to attract additional investment to support their activities. This private sector investment will boost the CDCs’ community development efforts, and as a consequence, improve the health of the individuals and families in those communities.

This connection of the CITC program with health, however, was not explicit until the CITC Health Impact Assessment report. This linkage is vital, as this is only the first example of a partnership that could benefit both fields.

To public health practitioners, it was clear that increased support for CDC activities could have an important positive impact on public health. We have long known that the homes we live in, the food we eat, and the other people around us—the stuff of our everyday lives—play a critical role in determining our health and wellbeing throughout our lives, sometimes also dictating how we die. This “stuff,” these pieces that form the world we experience on a daily basis, lies at the heart of the work that the community development field engages in. Although it only just being formally recognized, community development and public health are inextricably linked.

For example, when provided with access to affordable housing, low-and-moderate income community members can afford basic necessities such as healthy food, healthcare, and education, which can improve their mental and physical health. These are exactly the kinds of activities that the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program aims to support. Yet the connection to public health was not formally recognized in the CITC program.

Although the two fields are natural allies, they have only barely begun recognizing each other as potential partners to tackle these issues together. That is why linking health into the Community Investment Tax Credit Program (CITC) and community development more broadly is so important.

By formally linking these two fields together for the first time, this Health Impact Assessment forms the crucial first step to building a partnership between two fields working on overlapping issues separately for decades.

Formally recognizing these links and forging these natural partnerships will stimulate action that is not only groundbreaking but also truly central to the success of public health efforts to improve the quality of life of residents, especially those that are most vulnerable, throughout the Commonwealth and the rest of the country.

- Noemie Sportiche, Public Health Research Analyst 



State of Equity in Metro Boston Policy Agenda Release

July 28, 2014 – 1:35 pm |

July 11, 2014, Cambridge, MA: Inspiration and resolve suffused the official release of MAPC’s State of Equity in Greater Boston Policy Agenda. The event, held at and sponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for …

Annual Council Meeting

June 2, 2014 – 11:28 am |

MAPC’s Annual Council Meeting, held May 28, 2014, was an occasion for transitions, for well-deserved awards, and for engaging discussion about the agency’s plans for the next five years.
The first order of business was to …

MetroFuture Walks & Talks — May 2014

May 29, 2014 – 5:08 pm |

Rail Trail Workshop in Danvers
On May 22, 2014, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), in collaboration with the Planning Department of the Town of Danvers, offered a two-hour interactive Rail Trail Workshop to neighboring municipalities …

Final Sustainable Communities Consortium Meeting with Keynote Speaker US HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

May 27, 2014 – 3:40 pm |

Quick links:

Video of all speakers
Powerpoint of all project posters
All event photos


Last week, MAPC celebrated the many accomplishments made possible by our 2009 $4 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, and to recognize the Sustainable Communities …

MAPC’s Metro Mayors Community Safety Day on the Hill

May 6, 2014 – 5:27 pm |
Boston Police Department Superintendent-in-Chief, William G. Gross, discussed the important role that SSYI and Shannon funded partners play in supporting community safety and providing positive alternatives for youth. MAPC Metro Mayors Coalition Community Safety Day on the Hill, Boston, Mass., April 30, 2014. Courtesy Marilyn Humphries.

April 30, 2014, Boston: Exuberance was in the air as over 250 youth, mayors, law enforcement and municipal officials, legislators and community advocates gathered in Nurses Hall at the State House. It was the Community …

April 25, 2014 – 3:22 pm |
Aqueduct Trail opening, April 24, 2014, Natick, Mass. MAPC staff photo.

April 24, 2014, Natick: The kids couldn’t stop giggling as they grouped together to cut the ribbon. The sun was shining, the dignitaries were present, and the mood was buoyant: another section of the retired …

sPARKing New Ideas: Parking Strategies for Stronger Communities

April 18, 2014 – 12:15 pm |
Desk of a MAPC parking team member who works with municipalities on parking. They're a dedicated lot, so to speak. MAPC offices, Boston, Mass, 2014. Staff photo.

Parking may not be the subject of scintillating conversation among non-planners, but the hundreds of municipal, state, and community leaders who came to the sPARKing New Ideas conference on April 8, 2014 really got it: …

Municipal Solar in Sudbury

April 7, 2014 – 1:31 pm |

To utilize otherwise nonproductive space on their closed landfill, Sudbury decided to fill it with solar panels–6,060 of them. This solar power purchase agreement was part of a group procurement for energy services that MAPC …

Managing Neighborhood Change in Somerville and Beyond

March 10, 2014 – 4:41 pm |
Somerville Housing Forum, March 4, 2014. Photo courtesy Somerville Community Corporation.

On Tuesday, March 4, Somerville residents gathered at the Argenziano School with Senator Patricia Jehlen, Representative Denise Provost, aldermen, and community partners for the third and final installment of a forum series on housing. Hosted …

LED Streetlight Conversions in Arlington

March 7, 2014 – 4:36 pm |

This is the second in a series of videos that MAPC’s Clean Energy Division has made about our work in four communities. Check out the first one, focusing on local energy planning  in Medford.

Before it …