Strategies, Methods and Outlook
Elgar original reference
Edited by Daniel A. Mazmanian and Hilda Blanco
Chapter 9: Gauging the health of a city: maximizing health and sustainability
‘Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (UN WCED 1987). As the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development, it is clear that the primary reason to work for sustainability is to bolster the well-being of people across time. Sustainability and health go hand in hand in pursuit of this goal. However, organizations employ a wide variety of strategies that fall under the umbrella of environmental sustainability and that sometimes fail to consider their implications for human health. Not every measure that is sustainable is necessarily healthy and the reverse is also true: not everything that is healthy is also sustainable. The goals of this chapter are three-fold: to explain how health is affected by physical and social conditions of urban life; to discuss the intersection of sustainability and health; and to identify and critically examine tools for measuring health and sustainability at each level of the built environment. This chapter will first introduce a few basic concepts of public health that will be useful for the academic, practitioner, student, policy maker, or layperson concerned about sustainability – for present and future generations.
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