What is the built environment? Discuss the characteristics of a good community design that successfully promotes environmental health. Include in your discussion transportation options, environmental pollution sources, and exposure. How is social justice achieved in community planning?
Please answer with a minimum of 300 words. Please cite any and all references.
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The built environment is defined as the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for people’s daily activities, including homes, workplaces, schools, public spaces, transportation systems, and utilities. Environmental health is the branch of public health concerned with how the natural and built environments affect human health. A good community design can impact the environmental health of a community positively.
A good community design is one that promotes health and well-being by integrating environmental health considerations such as transportation options, environmental pollution sources, and exposure. Successful community planning should prioritize the creation of walkable and bike-friendly streets to encourage physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and decrease air pollution from vehicles. Cycling and walking as transportation options reduce the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Community planning should also prioritize the reduction of environmental pollution sources. To achieve this, zoning laws should separate residential areas from industrial and commercial areas that generate pollution. Waste management systems should also be in place to reduce the amount of waste generated in the community.
Social justice should be achieved in community planning by ensuring that the built environment creates equitable and fair opportunities for all community members, regardless of their age, race, income, or place of residence. To promote social justice, public facilities such as parks, schools, and hospitals should be distributed equitably to ensure that all community members have access to them.
In conclusion, a good community design should prioritize the integration of environmental health considerations, including transportation options, environmental pollution sources, and exposure. Community planning to promote environmental health and social justice should prioritize walking and cycling as transportation options, reduce environmental pollution sources, and distribute public facilities equitably.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Built Environment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ehsnew/built.htm
2. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2020). What is Environmental Health? Retrieved from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/environmental-health-science/index.cfm