Community Infrastructure

Definition

Community infrastructure refers to aspects of the build environment, including complete streets, sidewalks, marked crossings, public utilities, and community gathering spaces. Good maintenance of functioning community infrastructure plays a critical role in promoting health by encouraging community residents to feel safe out in their community.

Disparities

  • Nearly half of all African Americans live in poor neighborhoods lacking quality infrastructure, compared with only one in ten whites.¹

Connection Across Determinants

Socioeconomic Status:

  • Streets with lighting are significantly more common in high-income areas (75%) than in middle-income (54%) or low-income communities (51%).²
  • Streets with traffic calming features are significantly more common in higher-income areas (8%) than in middle-income (4%) or low-income communities (3%).

Disability:

  • Poor infrastructure development and a lack of upkeep in low-income neighborhoods prevents individuals with disabilities community members from being able to engage actively with their community.

  1. Cubbin C, Pedregon V, Egerter S, Braveman. Where We Live Matters for Our Health: Neighborhoods and Health. http://www.commissiononhealth.org/PDF/888f4a18-eb90-45be-a2f8-159e84a55a4c/Issue%20Brief%203%20Sept%2008%20-%20Neighborhoods%20and%20Health.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2017.
  2. Gibbs K, Slater S, Nicholson N, Barker D, Chaloupka F. Income Disparities in Street Features that Encourage Walking Research Brief March 2012. http://studylib.net/doc/11403985/income-disparities-in-street-features-that-encourage-walk… Published May 12, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2017.