In distressed urban neighborhoods where residential segregation
concentrates poverty, liquor stores outnumber supermarkets, toxic
sites are next to playgrounds, and more money is spent on prisons
than schools, residents also suffer disproportionately from disease
and premature death. Recognizing that city environments and the
planning processes that shape them are powerful determinants of
population health, urban planners today are beginning to take on
the added challenge of revitalizing neglected urban neighborhoods
in ways that improve health and promote greater equity. In Toward
the Healthy City, Jason Corburn argues that city planning must
return to its roots in public health and social justice. The first
book to provide a detailed account of how city planning and public
health practices can reconnect to address health disparities,
Toward the Healthy City offers a new decision-making framework
called "healthy city planning" that reframes traditional planning
and development issues and offers a new scientific evidence base
for participatory action, coalition building, and ongoing
monitoring. To show healthy city planning in action, Corburn
examines collaborations between government agencies and community
coalitions in the San Francisco Bay area, including efforts to link
environmental justice, residents' chronic illnesses, housing and
real estate development projects, and planning processes with
public health. Initiatives like these, Corburn points out, go well
beyond recent attempts by urban planners to promote public health
by changing the design of cities to encourage physical activity.
Corburn argues for a broader conception of healthy urban governance
that addresses the root causes of health inequities.
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