MIT – Report On the State of Health and Urbanism

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 1, 2014

“A newly published research report from MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) highlights the complexity of the issue. Produced in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, the document examines an array of public health matters in eight major metropolitan areas in the United States, and suggests a wide array of possible remedies, from better mass transit to extensive tree-planting.” [See also the Health and Urbanism Initiative at MIT for more information].

“This report includes research conducted through three primary lenses-the physical, natural, and social environments. The physical environment refers to the built form of cities, including housing, transportation, open space, and streets. The natural environment includes landscape amenities, climate, air pollution, and hazardous waste. The social environment refers to the socioeconomic conditions that affect health, including poverty, social capital, and access to health care. A fourth hybrid lens combines aspects of the previous three that are understood spatially, including access to healthy food and geographic disparities found in the specific fabrics of urban environments. The myriad conditions of the urban environment that affect urban health are so complex and interrelated that it is impossible to separate and isolate them.”

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