Unit 2: Natural and Built Environments
The second unit, Natural and Built Environments, provides students with instruction on important dimensions of the natural environment and the human impact on these systems through application of tools from planning to shape the built environment and from public health to address health. A highlight of this unit is a service learning group project where students apply lessons from environmental planning, transportation planning and environmental health to a local issue. Six weeks are devoted to teaching this unit.
Application. Identify contemporary features of the built environment such as patterns of development, parks, public works projects, houses, and transportation systems that reflect past efforts to influence health, and use methods developed by architects, urban planners, public health professionals, sociologists and anthropologists to address current health impacts of the built environment.
- Land Use and Transportation
- Planning Design Approaches
- Environmental Impact Assessments
- Health Impact Assessments
- Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality
- Water Quality
- Food Security
Books (select chapters)
Frumkin H, Frank L, Jackson R. Urban sprawl and public health: designing, planning, and building for healthy communities. Washington DC: Island Press, 2004.
Kawachi I, Berkman LF. Neighborhoods and health. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Morris M, Duncan R, Hannaford K, et al. Integrating planning and public health. Chicago: APA Planning Advisory Service, 2006.
Evans L. A New Traffic Safety Vision for the United States. Am J Public Health 2003; 93(9):1384-1386. * Please note website visitors have questioned the inclusion of this article in the curriculum given its emphasis on individual behavior rather than inclusion of the need to address the environment as a component of traffic safety. The article remains on the site to provide multiple viewpoints for discussion purposes. Note, Evans' perspective may relate to his 33-year tenure with General Motors Corporation.
Friedman MS, Powell KE, Hutwagner L, Graham LM, Teague WG. Impact of changes in transportation and commuting behaviors during the 1996 summer Olympic Games in Atlanta on air quality and childhood asthma. JAMA 2001;285(7):897-905.
- Service-learning group project
- Activity diary
- Transit use