- Urban and transport planning, environmental exposures and health-new concepts, methods and tools to improve health in cities
- Background: The majority of people live in cities and urbanization is continuing worldwide. Cities have long been known to be society's predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also a main source of pollution and disease. Methods: We conducted a review around the topic urban and transport planning, environmental exposures and health and describe the findings. Results: Within cities there is considerable variation in the levels of environmental exposures such as air pollution, noise, temperature and green space. Emerging evidence suggests that urban and transport planning indicators such as road network, distance to major roads, and traffic density, household density, industry and natural and green space explain a large proportion of the variability. Personal behavior including mobility adds further variability to personal exposures, determines variability in green space and UV exposure, and can provide increased levels of physical activity. Air pollution, noise and temperature have been associated with adverse health effects including increased morbidity and premature mortality, UV and green space with both positive and negative health effects and physical activity with many health benefits. In many cities there is still scope for further improvement in environmental quality through targeted policies. Making cities green and healthy goes far beyond simply reducing CO2 emissions. Environmental factors are highly modifiable, and environmental interv ...
Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen
Environmental Health 2016(Suppl 1):38 DOI: 10.1186/s12940-016-0108-1
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