Health Impact Assessments

A health impact assessment is a process that evaluates how a project or policy might affect the health of a population.

A health impact assessment is used to assess proposals that:

  • Are used outside of the traditional health sector
  • Do not target health as their principal goal
  • Impact vulnerable or disadvantaged groups

Assessment steps

A health impact assessment has five steps:

  1. Screen
  2. Scope
  3. Assess
  4. Recommend
  5. Monitor

Review our Health Impact Assessment Guidebook and Health Impact Assessment Appendix for more information.

Health impact assessments at Niagara Region

Health impact assessments began as part of the Regional health equity-informed planning project which Regional Council started during the 2019 - 2022 term.

Niagara Region uses this process and the social determinants of health to determine potential health impacts of our work on our community. This helps with planning and budgeting decisions that can have a larger impact on health and health equity.

This could include projects such as:

  • A new park or road
  • Housing development
  • Urban design and community planning

Recommendations are provided to either amplify positive impacts or mitigate negative impacts. For example:

  • Add a separated bike lane on each side of the street
  • Include space between the bike lane and sidewalk for street lighting, tree plantings and benches
  • Include different types of land use to make sure that access to healthy food is considered when planning communities
  • Improve street lighting for individuals who may bike, walk or bus to work during non-traditional hours. This can provide a sense of safety.


For more information or questions, email Health Impact Assessments.

Potential projects

Capital projects at Niagara Region are screened for eligibility to ensure a health impact assessment is appropriate, required and feasible.

The scope of the assessment will vary based on the project's eligibility score for its potential impact on health.

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