Built Environment and Health

Built Environment and Health
Spring, 2006
PH 298 section 49.
Time: 10am to 12 noon; Tuesdays Spring Semester
Location: Tolman 2305
Course control number 76702
Richard J Jackson MD MPH
Adjunct Professor
Div Envir Health Sciences
759 University Hall
University of California
School of Public Health
510 642-9400
Fax 642-5815
[email protected]
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3:00 PM
GSI: Marlon Maus
[email protected]
Course Description:
An interdisciplinary Course on the Built Environment and Health: Breaking down the Silos.
The US and other developed, as well as developing countries, are facing increasingly lethal and
costly epidemics of acute and chronic diseases related to land use and built environment
decisions. While the hazards presented by air and water pollution are well recognized for acute,
infectious and toxicological illnesses, there is only now increasing recognition of the hazards
presented by building and community designs that fail to recognize human health. Land use and
built environment decisions impact every age group, social and racial minority. These impacts
range from the very acute (motor vehicle trauma) to the long term (obesity, cancer, heart disease).
These decisions have as their bases economic, financial, insurance, housing and other factors.
Participants in the sessions would analyze each of these factors and related disease endpoints.
Course requirements:
1. Participation 40%
2. Written assignments 30%
3. Oral presentations 30%
Written assignments consist of a 3-5 page summary of the supplementary articles listed for each
session. These articles should include scholarly and topical papers. The summary will synthesize
the information on the topic covered. This summary must be emailed to the instructors by Noon
on the Friday before the lecture date so it may be distributed to the entire class through
Blackboard. Students will do a 10 minute oral presentation of the topic during the Tuesday
session. The students will help lead the class discussion about the topic they have summarized.
Every student is expected to present 2 times during the semester. The dates for presentations will
be set during the first class session. 2-3 students will present per session.
All students are expected to read the assigned reading from the textbook and the summary of the
supplementary readings. Students are encouraged to also read the optional supplementary
readings and be prepared to discuss the topic.
Required Text (available at Cal Bookstore and Ned’s):
H. Frumkin, L. Frank, R. Jackson. Urban Sprawl and Public Health. Washington, DC. Island
Press. 2004.
Topic and Date:
1. January 17. General Introduction to the Issues
a. Vocabulary of the Built Environment
b. What is density, sprawl
c. What is a developer, builder.
d. Transects
e. Intrinsic efficiencies of urban environments
f. New Urbanism
g. Why the need for a vision, especially an interdisciplinary one.
h. Possible reading from Jane Jacobs or Jim Kunstler
i. Legacy: Vitruvius, Camillo Sitte, Olmsted, von Hausman, Collins
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 1
2. January 24. Historical Perspective
a. Brief discussion of the history of human settlements
b. Issues of commerce, trade, transportation
c. The fundamental efficiency of cities
d. Advantages of human specialization.
e. Evolution of Urban Health
f. Sanitary City
g. Advent of sprawl
h. How did we get here?
i. The pre –automobile era History
j. Post war redesign
k. National Highway Programs
l. Post-automobile era
m. GI and VA mortgage programs
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 2
Marice Ashe will join us
3. January 31. Policy, Health and the Built Environment
a. Importance of law: legal basis for the current built environment
b. Zoning—especially as a public health tool
c. Codes
d. Planning commissions
e. Important Federal Laws: Air, Water, Highway, TSCA others
f. Relevance of Prop 13 and tax policy
g. Interconnectedness of policy: housing, agriculture, highway, transportation,
labor, tax policy
h. Success stories.
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 2
4. February 7. How built Environments Affect:
a. Air Quality
i. http://www.californialung.org/downloads/hn/Research_HealthEffects_Pa
b. Water Quality
i. http://www.law.pace.edu/envclinic/Report.html
c. Climate
See: http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a41/pdf/AB32.pdf
also entrepreneurial approach:
Long but very well written on climate change:
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 4, 7
5. February 14. Getting around: Transportation and the Built Environment
a. Dr Alex Kelter ([email protected]) head of the California Injury control
program will present. Make sure to do the readings, but there will be no student
See: www.dhs.ca.gov/epicenter
Come to class prepared to question him on this site.
b. Injuries as leading cause of years of life lost
i. Road
ii. Pedestrian: sidewalk, intersection design
c. Stress and Driving
i. Blood Pressure, Road Rage etc
d. Vehicle issues:
i. SUV’s,
ii. Emergency vehicles
iii. Backover injuries
iv. Children and other vulnerable populations
e. Parking lots
f. Vacant buildings
g. Lack of exercise (fitness and obesity issues will be discussed in greater depth on
April 4.
h. Mass transit: limitations and opportunities
i. Transit villages
ii. Walkability of dense communities
Some other readings and info:
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 6
6. February 21. Social Capital and Happiness and the Built Environment
a. Mental Health issue
b. Depression, hyperactivity
c. Community resilience
d. Cultural quarters
e. Live work Play
f. Race, class, other issues
i. Past urban renewal efforts
ii. Age Group issues
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 8, 9
7. February 28. Schools as important built environments
a. As drivers of sprawl, consumers of space, effects on children
b. Vision for school gardens
c. Water control,
d. green spaces,
e. Cafeterias,
f. Capitalization
g. Busing
h. Optimal school size
i. Playgrounds
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 5, 10 (appropriate parts)
Suggested: http://www.nsbn.org/publications/newsletters/spring2004/kaufman.php\
8. March 7. Housing policy as Health policy
a. Housing as a disease vector
b. Safety and perception issues
i. Policing
ii. Fire
iii. Community Watch
c. Housing affordability as a major driver
d. Financing as health determinant
i. Mortgage and Insurance
e. Energy efficiency
i. Density issues
ii. Tree cover
iii. Noise
f. Environmental Justice
g. Brownfield Issues
h. Gentrification issues
Required readings:
9. March 14. International and Global issues and the Built environment
a. Lessons from other countries and locations
i. Scandinavia
ii. Heidelberg
iii. Taipei
iv. Curitiba
v. China and India development: dangers and opportunities
1. http://www.efchina.org/home.cfm
vi. Others
b. Balance of Trade and Economic issues
c. Fossil Fuels
Required readings:
10. March 21. Disasters: how the built environment can mitigate or aggravate natural
a. Lessons from Katrina and other
b. Disasters as opportunities for constructing positive environments
Required readings:
March 28 Spring Break.
11. April 4. Built environments and age life stages: this session will give special attention as
well to issues of lack of fitness, obesity and overweight.
a. In-utero
b. Pre-school children
c. School age
d. Teen and courtship ages
e. Young adults, new families
f. Middle age
g. Older adults and Special Populations
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 10 (appropriate parts)
(Amy Kyle will join us)
12. April 11. The Built Environment and cultural environments
a. “Places of the Heart” as culture quarters
b. Redevelopment of Blighted and abandoned neighborhoods
c. Power of evening rich communities—the 24 hour city
d. Gentrification: opportunities and threats.
e. Universities, hospitals, industrial parks
Required readings:
13. April 18. Economics of built environments—the economic “foot print”
a. Costs of car ownership, transport
b. Fiscal policies:
i. Return on investment
ii. “Discounting”
c. Long term payback. (infrastructure investment)
d. Economics of vibrant communities
e. California Sales tax vs property tax policy. Legacies of Proposition 13
f. Building and non-building incentives: “why do they keep it a parking lot?”
g. Vacant Properties campaign http://www.vacantproperties.org/
Required readings:
14. April 25 and May 2. Visioning the Healthy home and neighborhood
a. Density
b. Public transport
c. Green space, Parks http://www.tpl.org/
d. Walking and bike trails
Visioning the Healthy city and nation
Vision for architecture
Urban planning
Creating Change
What are the levers of change
Mortgagers and banks
Insurance Policies
Role of citizens
Role of Health Professionals
Role of Public Health
Required readings:
Text: Ch. 11
Session 1:
Session 2:
May 9: Review of Course:
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