Monday, August 20, 2012

Sustainable Built Environments = Better Health

Here's To Your Health!
Design teams are capitalizing on evidence that links the built environment and wellness to make better places for living, healing, and working.

July 2012 - Green infrastructure serving walkable, mixed-use communiities; benign construction materials; durable, day-lit buildings; renewable energy. These are ingrediencts in a familiar prescription for a more sustainable built environment. What the design community now realizes is that it's also a prescription for better public health.

The leading killers of our time are chronic ailments: heart disease, strokes, cancers, and diabetes. They share common risk factors: obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking. New collaborations between the health and place-making professions are confirming that most of these conditions, as well as others, respond to a common factor: the built environment.

The impact of design on public health is becoming more widely appreciated–and some observers believe this recognition is long overdue. "Before we prescribe a medicine, it has to be proved safe and efficacious–but if we prescribe a place design, no evidence is required," says Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington's School of Public Health. The result, he says, is "a slow-moving catastrophe." read more>>>

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