Hinnovic » Let’s transform now the built environment to improve present and future communities’ health

Let’s transform now the built environment to improve present and future communities’ health

Last June, we published a dossier on healthy cities. Adopting a public health policy perspective, we examined the links between urban environments and population health. With our guest contributors, we clarified the concept of healthy cities and addressed some of its most urgent challenges.

 

Since then, we met other inspiring people, actively engaged in projects geared at the development of sustainable environments. Instead of waiting and hoping for new public policies to be implemented, they decided to act NOW through various grass-root initiatives. Their stories are fascinating and bring important contributions to our previous dossier.

 

The architect Dominique Laroche describes a project that seeks to change the mainstream “demand” for urban housing by infusing, in the Quebec collective imagery, tangible examples of sustainable environments. Michel Durand, a passionate ecologist, explains the principles behind the Transition Town Initiative and how communities can reduce their dependence upon a polluting and perishable resource – oil. Abby Lippman and Madeleine Bird from McGill University introduce the Enviro-Health All Together Project which enabled immigrant and vulnerable communities to act directly on environmental health issues that affect them. A further text by Malisa McCreedy from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, explains how Get active Orlando initiative – which took its roots in the Active Living by design Movement– transformed Orlando (Florida) down-town into a green and safe community area, accessible to all. Finally, Helena Urfer introduces the work of Audrey Smargiassi, professor at the University of Montreal, on the links between the built environment and heat waves which are responsible for several deaths each year.

 

We hope that their experiences will inspire you and we invite you to share with our visitors your own initiatives and perspectives.

 

     
 

Still wondering about the impact of the built environment on health? Watch this moving and persuasive TEDtalk from Majora Carter entitled Greening the ghetto.

 

Le TEDTalk de Majora Carter

 
     

 

Author : Myriam Hivon, Ph.D.

 

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