An HIA of a proposed stadium development project in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
Protecting Communities Near LA’s Proposed New Football Stadium: A Case Story
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) proposes to build Farmers Field, a 72,000-seat football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. Residents living near the proposed stadium are especially vulnerable to impacts including displacement, rising costs of housing, lack of employment opportunity, increasing neighborhood policing, and lack of access to open space.
What we did
With only 45 days to respond to a 10,000-page draft Environmental Impact Statement, in 2012, local residents collaborated with HIP, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA on a consensus-based Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The process included a panel of 12 residents who represented constituencies that would be affected by the development.
We got involved because of the important community health issues like housing, public safety and access to jobs. The agreement [with Anschutz] includes many measures to meet the community’s goals in these areas.
What we found
The HIA found evidence contrary to the developer’s claims that Farmers Field would not contribute to disruptive gentrification. The resident panel found that likely health impacts would include decreased quality of mental health, social cohesion, and medical care, and more chronic disease and injuries. Poverty, housing affordability, and access to open space were all projected to worsen.
The HIA report was used in a campaign led by advocates that secured a commitment from AEG to provide the following as part of the Farmers Field project: $15 million for affordable housing; $5 million for parks/open space, neighborhood improvement plans, and funding for a community team to promote health and protect tenant rights in the area; and local hiring commitments. In addition, the HIA was used by residents who would be impacted by the project to engage in the decision making process. Community members on the panel described feeling empowered through their participation in the HIA and subsequent advocacy.