The Underline is a planned to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail, and living art destination. The Georgia Health Policy Center recently completed a health impact assessment (HIA) of the proposed project to assess its potential impact on the health and wellness of residents in the surrounding communities.
The project called for a rapid HIA to produce recommendations within a few months, before The Underline proceeded to the implementation phase. In order to complete the HIA, GHPC facilitated coordinating calls with a small local steering committee, reviewed publicly accessible data, conducted three community meetings, and applied evidence-based practices to the design and operations plans for the corridor.
Its plans envisioned that The Underline would serve as an enhanced mobility corridor better connecting communities, improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and promoting a healthier lifestyle with accessible green spaces and park amenities. The HIA confirmed the project has a high potential to increase physical activity and social connections, which are both protective factors against chronic diseases. Additionally, it identified key ways to ensure that The Underline produces maximum benefits in these areas for the entire community.
The HIA also determined priority recommendations that could help increase use of The Underline and decrease exposure to traffic related hazards along the corridor. These recommendations include making sure there are appropriate pedestrian and bicycle access to the linear trail from surrounding neighborhoods, improving links to transit, and supporting community-based programs and recreational features.