Urban Fold

Planning to Improve Public Health

Public health was an early impetus for better urban planning. But over the years, it has faded into the background. This piece from Miler-McCune looks at how health concerns are moving their way back into mainstream planning.

"City planning originated, around the turn of the last century, out of concerns over health problems created by filthy slums and industries. Then the fields of public health and planning came uncoupled. Public health took on a mainly biomedical focus on individual genetics, biology and behavior and how clinicians could affect those, and on a narrowly biological approach to epidemiology and evidence. Meanwhile the planning of built environments was hijacked by the car.

Now the fields of city planning and public health - pushed by economic crisis, climate change and green technology, among other factors - are converging again."

Through new studies and collaborations between the planning world and the public health world, city designers are making more of an effort to avoid the negative health effects their predecessors have created.

Full Story: How Urban Planning Can Improve Public Health

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