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Local effort underway to address gaps in Boston transportation

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Advocates working to increase access to green spaces

NEEDHAM, Mass. —

Dr. Atyia Martin is a former chief resilience officer for the city of Boston and currently runs All Aces Inc., an alternative to traditional diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting.

Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition was founded in 2006 by concerned residents looking to improve the health of the Mattapan Community. They strive to increase access to healthy food and promote active living through in-person programs, community education, and empowerment. Their projects have included work with the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization on “Addressing Equity and Access in the Blue Hills Reservation.”

"Gap” can be defined in many ways. As we explored various gaps -- economic, transportation, health care, etc. -- we used some general guidelines:

The Food Gap — Lower-income individuals and communities are more likely to face disproportionate health and life-expectancy outcomes in part due to a lack of accessible healthy food.

The Health Care Gap — Early retirements, aging providers, and increased administrative challenges are contributing to a growing gap in timely access to primary care physicians.

The Accessibility Gap — The needs of individuals with mobility restrictions are very diverse. Even at locations marked as “accessible,” many people with mobility devices struggle to navigate streets, restaurants, entryways, and basic facilities such as public bathrooms.

The Wealth Gap — There is a dramatic gap between the average wealth of U.S. households, with about 97% of the nation’s wealth possessed by the top 50% of earners. This divide is more significant when viewed along racial lines.

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