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Design For Health

Aging, Health, and Environments

For those interested in health and aging, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is perhaps a surprising source of useful information. Their Aging Initiative has a useful web site and list serve, bot accessible at http://www.epa.gov/aging/index.htm. Topics covered include environmental health, aging and smart growth, and environmental activism for older people. It is well worth a look.

The EPA’s National Agenda for the Environment and Aging
received input from listing sessions during 2003.

Other resources on older people, health, and planning are available on the Design for Health web site at http://designforhealth.net/resources/seniors.html

Collections of Tools for Measuring Active Transport

With growing interest in active transport practitioners and researchers have created a large number of tools to measure active transport behavior and environments. The following web sites provide lists or databases of such tools. If you want to measure AT, such sites can be a good place to start. Thye have been sponsored by such groups as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Cancer Institite, and the Federal Highway Administration:

Pedestrians in suburban Paris. Photo: Ann Forsyth

DFH on Flickr

Design for Health’s photo collection on flickr has been expanding recently. Check out the photos through the tag cloud at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/designforhealth/tags/.

This is a picture of the image cloud–go to the URL above to find the actual clickable tags.

Visually Interesting HIAs

Those giving presentations mentioning HIAs are often looking for good visuals to go in the presentations. The Design for Health web site now has a list of visually interesting HIAs at  http://www.designforhealth.net/resources/hiaexamples.html#vih (compiled by Inna Kitaychik). Some have photos but many have maps, plans, graphs, and charts. 

Page Ave HIA was led by Christy Hoehner and Jodi Polzin.
It is one of the visually interesting HIAs highlighted on th
DFH web site.

WHO Healthy Cities

The WHO Healthy Cities Program has been around since the mid-1980s and but is not as well known in the United States as it perhaps should be. The program is focused on “health development through a process of political commitment, institutional change, capacity-building, partnership-based planning and innovative projects” (http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/urban-health/activities/healthy-cities). Healthy city activities typically focus on fostering collaborations and partnerships to promote health with a refreshing mix of interventions—policies, programs, and plans. Activities that won Healthy Cities Awards in recent years include schools that promote urban health, injury and violence prevention activities, best practices in public toilets, and healthy urban transportation (http://www.alliance-healthycities.com/htmls/awards/index_awards.html).


It’s hard to find exactly how many cities participate but the WHO European office claims that over 1,400 European cities take part in 30 national networks. As the network is global, presumably the overall numbers are much larger. An Alliance for Healthy Cities brings some of these cities together: http://www.alliance-healthycities.com/htmls/about/index_about.html 

The WHO European office has a useful healthy cities checklist that shows the wide range of topics of interest to the program from ecosystem health and public participation to diversity and economic vitality. You can read the whole list at http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/urban-health/activities/healthy-cities/who-european-healthy-cities-network/what-is-a-healthy-city/healthy-city-checklist

Design for Health on Flickr: Sets and Collections

 

Cyclist: Photo by Ann Forsyth

The Design for Health photostream now has hundreds of photos organized into “sets” such as “pedestrians” or “markets” and collections such as “Landscape”. Hundreds more photos will be added in the coming month. Check it out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/designforhealth/

Design for Health on Flickr

 

Urban Agriculture in Beihai, China. Photo by Ann Forsyth.
Design for Health now has a Flickr photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/designforhealth/. It will eventually contain all the images now available in the DFH web site under image resources: http://designforhealth.net/resources/imageresources.html. However, we will gradually add others from around the world. Most images are by Ann Forsyth except where noted specifically (for example some are from Kevin Krizek).

Research Summaries: Some Links

For practitioners interested in integrating health research into planning and design, the task can be daunting. There are many articles that touch on the topic of the connection between people, health, and place but with varying levels of relevance, research quality, and cost (and many can be quite expensive to those who don’t have university library subscriptions). Into the gap have come a number of organizations creating practice-oriented research summaries.

UN Habitat Reports on Health

UN Habitat produces and distributes a large number of reports, many related to health with numerous publications on water infrastructure, social inclusion, disaster management, housing issues, and climate change. Although you can buy printed reports that isn’t always necessary as many can be found for free.

Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Health Inequities in Urban Settings (2010), produced in collaboration with the World Health Organization, provides a good overview of the history and current situation in terms of cities and health. Topics cange across the natural and build environment, social and conomic issues, food secutiy, health services, and general urban governange http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=3049
Diagram from Hidden Cities
Collection of Municipal Solid Waste , Key issues for Decision-makers in Developing Countries (2011) grapples with an important problem in public health. Written in a very accessible style it answers practical questions about how too extend solid waste collection to a wider population. http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=3231
A Global Assessment on Women’t Safety (2008) focuses on tools for enhancing safety including public education, adviacey, participatory approaches, and changing public spaces. It’s part of a series of reports on this topic http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=2848

Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments

 

A screenshot of the online slide show
A few years back the American Planning Association in association with the National Association of County and City Health Officials created the online course Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments at http://advance.captus.com/planning/hia2/home.aspx. Don’t be put off by the initial survey that you have to fill in to get into the site—it’s short and you don’t need to be an APA member to access it! Sponsored by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention the initial course was developed by Rajiv Bhatia, Laura Biazzo, MPH, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brian Cole, Andrew Dannenberg, Carrie Fesperman, and Candace Rutt.


With Christine Green
from APA and Nisha Bochwey from the University of Virginia I’ve worked to update the program (without changing the voiceover except for one short additional module!)—Christine is the maven of resources and Nisha did a stellar job on quizzes. There are a lot of new examples. The computer generated voice is a bit weird but the content is a good introduction to HIA—and thanks to the CDC it’s free.

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