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Community Design

Community Design and Health

Public health problems in the United States, such as motor vehicle-related injuries, obesity, physical inactivity, and breathing and heart problems related to air pollution are all influenced by the design of our communities. Designing communities that encourage healthy choices is critical to improving the health and quality of life of community members.

The primary way to promote health through community design is to make sure there is access to many types of transportation, healthy food, safe housing, and public spaces that promote health. These include access to:

  • public transportation, like buses or trains,
  • sidewalks and bike paths,
  • stores that sell food, especially those stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables,
  • safe and energy efficient housing, and
  • parks and public spaces.

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