Designing Healthy Communities is a 4 part series and companion book that takes a comprehensive look at the impact America’s built environment has on public health, and at the people and communities working to turn things around through innovative solutions. Many of today’s major health problems – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer and depression – can be traced directly to nearly half-a-century of bad design decisions in urban and suburban areas. In each episode, Dr. Jackson travels the country to explore problems in a variety of communities, and profile best practice models. As Dr. Jackson illustrates, re-designing our built environment can improve both physical and mental health.
The first episode investigates the connection between our nation’s obesity and Type 2 Diabetes epidemic and suburban sprawl, fueled by dependency on the automobile. Communities profiled are seeking to combat the causes of diabetes by redesigning our car centric society.
Extra: "What Does Healthy Design Look Like?" Extended interview with Howard Frumkin, MD, Former Director, CDC's Center for Environmental Health
Many cities are struggling to resuscitate their dying downtowns and overcome a history of industrial pollution. This episode looks at how families and young people seek to repair main street America by rebuilding places of the heart.
Extra: "Creating Healthy Spaces" Lecture by Dr. Richard Jackson sponsored by the California Endowment.
Where you live is one predictor of how long you will live. This episode explores the deadly consequences of economically challenged neighborhoods located near highly polluted areas, and urban pioneers who seek to improve the health of their challenged communities.
Extra: "How Has Public Health Changed in Recent Years" Extended interview with Anthony Iton, MD, MPH, Former Director, Alameda County Dept. of Public Health
In the final episode, Dr. Jackson searches past and present America for model communities large and small that embody the intricate balance of health promoting design and human needs. Does the perfect community exist?
Extra: "Place Matters" Keynote presentation by Dr. Jackson before the American Public Health Association
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