185368 Built environment, climate change, and health: Opportunities for co-benefits

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Margalit Younger, MPH , National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Heather R. Morrow-Almeida, MPH , Office of Workforce and Career Development, Career Development Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Stephen M. Vindigni, MPH , School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Andrew L. Dannenberg, MD, MPH , National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
The earth's climate is changing, largely due to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity. These human-generated gases derive in part from aspects of the built environment such as transportation systems and infrastructure, building construction and operation, and land use planning. Transportation, the largest end-use consumer of energy, affects human health directly through air pollution and subsequent respiratory effects, as well as indirectly through physical activity behavior. Through the materials utilized, siting decisions, electricity and water usage, and landscape surroundings, buildings contribute to climate change, influence transportation alternatives, and impact health. Land use, forestry, and agriculture also contribute to climate change and impact health by increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, shaping the infrastructures for both transportation and buildings, and affecting access to green spaces. Vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected with regard to transportation, buildings, and land use, and are at most risk for experiencing climate change effects. Working across sectors to incorporate a health promotion approach in the design and development of built environment components may mitigate climate change, promote adaptation, and improve public health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe two ways that each of the built environment components - transportation, buildings, and land use - impact climate change and provide co-benefits for health. 2. List four population groups that are disproportionately affected by both the built environment and climate change. 3. Discuss three built environment strategies that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health.

Keywords: Climate Change, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I researched and wrote the manuscript regarding built environment, climate change, and health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.