Designing Healthy Communities

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-10-25
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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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. Part 1 - Introducing Dick Jackson: A brief chronology of Dick''s life focusing on how his experiences shaped his thinking and compelled him to action. This section introduces the man and tells the reader why he cares about the built environment Chapter 1: Who is Dick Jackson? Part 2 - Living and Leading With Purpose: Introduces the major themes that guide Dick Jackson''s life and work. This section sets the stage and provides a context for understanding specific actions. In each thematic area, we move from the specific (ourselves and those close to us) to the broader view. Chapter 2: What Does Caritas Have to Do With the Built Environment? Chapter 3: What is Health and How Do We Measure It? Chapter 4: Can Built Environment Build Community Part 3 - A Legacy in Concrete: Each chapter details a place where Dick Jackson''s ideas have been manifested. Each chapter reviews the community in the style of a medical case study: symptoms, diagnosis, cure, and prevention. This is the nuts-and-bolts of Dr. Jackson''s view of public health is manifested in specific locations. Chapter 5: From Monoculture to Human Culture - curing social and environmental malnutrition: Belmar, Colorado Chapter 6: Using the Principles of New Urbanism to Build Community Prairie Crossing, Illinois Chapter 7: Saving America''s downtown and local history through the political process: Charleston, South Carolina Chapter 8: Reinventing a City through Community Leadership for Sustainability: a vital part of sustainability is being healthy: Elgin, Illinois Chapter 9: Ending Car Captivity - Leadership Paths to Culture: Boulder, Colorado Chapter 10: Ports Are Rest Stops Along the Global Highway: Oakland, California Chapter 11: The city that won''t give up - entrepreneurship and urban agriculture: Detroit, Michigan Part 4 - Be The Change You Want to See in the World: This section makes the case that the reader can use Dick Jackson''s vision and tools to effect similar improvements in their own communities. Chapters examine how to effect change through the power of one person leading groups with purpose and working effectively to engage others. We introduce the different stakeholders in a community (government agencies, NGOs, parents, children, businesses, professionals, etc.) and discuss how they work together to achieve results. Chapter 12: What''s Happening in Your Community? Chapter 13: Who Are the Players? Chapter 14: Create an Action Plan Chapter 15: You are Dick Jackson

Author Biography

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.

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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