A new report has been released that examines the relationship between the built environment and public health. Researchers for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created the report to help prepare a rating system for neighborhoods called LEED-ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development) that helps communities identify public health hazards related to development.
"The report focuses on five public health topics â€" respiratory and cardiovascular health, fatal and non-fatal injuries, physical activity, social capital and mental health. In addition, the report looks at the impact of each of these five areas on special populations, including children, the elderly, and minorities. Finally, the report pulls all of the research together and presents a comprehensive picture of the elements of the built environment that have the greatest positive impact on these public health outcomes."