Transportation infrastructure has historically impacted diverse and underserved communities disproportionately. It was not uncommon, for example, in the 1950s and 1960s for highways to be built through once-thriving neighborhoods with predominately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations. Conversely, sought-after investments in the transportation system have benefitted more affluent communities. COVID-19 has brought to the forefront some of these underlying systemic inequalities that linger today.
This virtual event will explore the literal and figurative intersection of the built environment and its impacts on Utah’s diverse and underserved communities, particularly during a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Reduced active transportation options such as sidewalks, bike lanes and trails, fewer health care facilities, and limited healthy food options contribute to underlying chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. These conditions increase the severity and mortality for individuals infected with COVID-19.
The speakers will outline the tangible progress being made to address these inequalities through proactive planning and collaborative partnerships.