This online course offers reading excerpts from the book Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability. Drawing on the expertise of top leaders in public health and urban planning, the book presents a comprehensive examination of how changes in the design and planning of our communities can improve public and environmental health. The book’s contributors analyze a host of interconnected issues, including food and water supply and mental health, exploring the many links between design, human health, and environmental sustainability. For more information, or to purchase the full book, please visit www.makinghealthyplaces.com.
In this course, you will read the following excerpts from the book:
The “Preface” by Richard J. Jackson provides an overview of the ways in which a shift in the prevailing design of American communities—from transit-oriented urban centers to suburban sprawl— has led to an increase in a host of physical and mental health problems, from depression to obesity.
“An Introduction to Healthy Places” by Howard Frumkin, Arthur M. Wendel,
Robin Fran Abrams, and Emil Malizia offers foundational definitions and historic background on the relationship between the fields of public health and planning, architecture, and design. This chapter will provide participants a greater understanding of the environmental and public health benefits of collaboration across these disciplines.
Chapter 14, “Healthy Schools” by Howard Frumkin and Jared Fox offers a fresh and comprehensive guide to healthy, green schools—from site selection and building design to mitigating environmental hazards in the classroom. Participants who complete the course will understand the physical, chemical, and environmental factors that affect health in a school environment, and how these factors can be designed to promote better health for all users. The chapter also includes information on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy School Environmental Assessment Tool.
In addition to being of particular interest to professionals in public health and urban planning, this course will be essential for public health officials, planners, architects, landscape architects, school officials, administrators, and staff, and all those who would like to use design to improve public and environmental health.
The course reading selection is available in the Additional Resources section on the right. There are also handouts with discussion questions based on the reading and information about the book and the authors.
- Identify the impacts that design at the community scale has on our physical, mental, social, and environmental well-being.
- Compare the ways in which different design professions (urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and transportation planning) and the field of public health developed.
- Analyze ways in which designers and public health practitioners can collaborate for improved health, well-being, and sustainability.
- Identify key factors that make schools unique built environments and assess the health benefits and threats presented by various school sites.
- Identify physical, chemical, and environmental factors inside and outside of the school building that impact health.
- Apply lessons learned in this course to healthy schools assessment tools, including a school environmental health audit.