Designing Healthy Communities / Edition 1

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Designing Healthy Communities is Dr. Richard J. Jackson's call to action for all of us concerned with the health trends that are beginning to overwhelm the country. It is a companion book for the upcoming special PBS broadcast that describes how the design of the built environment impacts our health, with an additional emphasis on the inequities of social and environmental justice. In this book, Dr. Jackson explores how the built environment has contributed to the fact that two-thirds of Americans are overweight, 70 million are obese and many suffer from an array of other chronic but preventable diseases. The book and series looks upstream at the root causes of our malaise, and highlights actionable best practices based on real people with real solutions. Public health has traditionally associated the built environment with issues such as poor sanitation, lead paint poisoning and children, workplace safety, fire codes and access for persons with disabilities. We now realize that how we design the built environment may hold tremendous potential for addressing—-and hopefully preventing—-many of the nation's current public health concerns. The Designing Healthy Communities book offers a new perspective on the topics covered in each episode while providing a roadmap and tools for readers to effect similar positive change in their own communities.Dr. Jackson is a vibrant public speaker, highly skilled at distilling ideas to a simple and understandable conversation. Unlike textbooks on the topic, this book seeks to feel more like a conversation between Dr. Jackson and the many people he has met along the road. Through stories and examples, he will encourage readers to consider their own experience and why taking initiative to make positive change in society is important.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Though intended as a companion to a four-part TV series he is hosting on PBS stations, the book stands on its own very well. Though professionals of many stripes can learn from Designing Healthy Communities, its greatest strength is likely to lie in energizing and educating a broad public — readers described by Dr. Jackson as “those of us who are concerned about our communities and the world we are giving to our children.” – Better Cities/Towns, February 2012.

“It’s called the ‘built environment’ and if you’re a public health whiz, you know exactly what that means. If you don’t, Dr. Richard Jackson, Chair of UCLA’s Environmental Health Sciences Department believes it’s critical you do.” – The California Report health blog, KQED (San Francisco)

“An admirer of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Dr. Jackson argues that such details of daily life make existence worthwhile. And that is what “Designing Healthy Communities” is all about.” – Reporting on Health (USC Annenberg)

“The new book, “Designing Healthy Communities,” says: ‘When there is nearly nothing within walking distance to interest a young person and it is near-lethal to bicycle, he or she must relinquish autonomy — a capacity every creature must develop just as much as strength and endurance.’” – New York Times, January, 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118033661
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/25/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 195,106
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles. He is former California State Health Officer and for nine years was the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta.

Stacy Sinclair, EdD, is director of education for Media Policy Center in Santa Monica, California, which produced the documentary Designing Healthy Communities. She also is cofounder of EdExcellence Consulting, Inc.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Anthony Iton

Preface ix

The Author xvii

Prologue: Why I Care About the Built Environment xix


Chapter 1 What Does Love, or Caritas, Have to Do with the Built Environment? 3

We Love Our Families and Our Country, but Do We Really Love Ourselves? 4

For Love of Family 6

For Love of Community 7

For Love of Our Nation and the World 14

Chapter 2 What Is Health, and How Do We Measure It? 15

Personal Health 17

Public Health Policy 23

Environmental Health 28

Mental and Social Health 30

Chapter 3 Can the Built Environment Build Community? 35

Organic Places Are Healthy Places 36

Urban Centers 41

State and Nation 45


Chapter 4 From Monoculture to Human Culture: the Belmar district of Lakewood, Colorado 53

Symptoms 54

Diagnosis 60

Cure 62

Prevention 64

Chapter 5 Using New Urbanism Principles to Build Community: Prairie Crossing, Illinois 67

Symptoms 69

Diagnosis 70

Cure 73

Prevention 77

Chapter 6 Saving America’s Downtowns and Local History Through the Political Process: Charleston, South Carolina 79

Symptoms 80

Diagnosis 82

Cure 86

Prevention 88

Chapter 7 Reinventing a Healthy City Through Community Leadership for Sustainability: Elgin, Illinois 91

Symptoms 92

Diagnosis 94

Cure 98

Prevention 104

Chapter 8 Ending Car Captivity: Boulder, Colorado 107

Symptoms 108

Diagnosis 110

Cure 115

Prevention 117

Chapter 9 Ports as Partners in Health: Oakland, California 119

Symptoms 120

Diagnosis 123

Cure 132

Prevention 135

Chapter 10 The City That Won’t Give Up: Detroit, Michigan 139

Symptoms 140

Diagnosis 144

Cure (or at Least Treatment) 146

Prevention 155


Chapter 11 What’s Happening in Your Community? 159

Determining the Health of Your Community 159

Conducting an Audit of Your Built Environment 166

Chapter 12 Who Are the Players? 175

Finding Your Stakeholders 178

Social Networking 187

Getting Everyone to Pull Together 188

Chapter 13 Create an Action Plan 189

Analyze the Symptoms 189

Determine the Diagnosis 194

Implement the Cure 195

Protect Through Prevention 206

Epilogue: Now It’s Your Turn 207

Notes 213

Index 219

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