Residents of just four American metropolitan areas have had regular access to healthy air in recent years. Those four places — Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Elmira-Corning, N.Y.; and Salinas, Calif. — had the pleasure of breathing air consistently free of unhealthy ozone, short-term particle and year-round particle pollution from 2012 to 2014,according to a new national air quality report card from the American Lung Association.
The air everywhere else was less consistently clean. — Washington Post
Actually, air quality has significantly improved in American cities since the passing of the 1970 Clean Air Act and subsequent legislation. This year marked the lowest particle pollution levels in 16 years for all but four of the top 20 most-polluted cities.Still, things remain pretty grim: more...
Boring architecture may take an emotional toll on the people forced to live in and around it.
A growing body of research in cognitive science illuminates the physical and mental toll bland cityscapes exact on residents. Generally, these researchers argue that humans are healthier when they live among variety — a cacophony of bars, bodegas, and independent shops — or work in well-designed, unique spaces, rather than unattractive, generic ones. — nymag.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Putting entire cities on the psychiatrist's couchGetting Neural: Van Alen hosts "How Does the Brain Respond to the City?"The Quest to Measure the Brain's Response to Urban Design
'Mexico City’s water system goes against its own functional essence. The city is dehydrating itself. We’re mixing our water with poisonous waste and then pumping it out through a complex network of pipes. Just like what happens when a human is dehydrated, Mexico City has diarrhea.' — Elias Cattan — Quartz
"In a mega-metropolis with a deep history of corrupt leaders and state-sanctioned misinformation, [architect Elias Cattan of Taller 13] believes awareness is the first step. That’s why he’s part of a growing movement of environmental scientists, activists, designers and engineers determined to...
Amid the controversy that perpetually surrounds Planned Parenthood, it's easy to forget that the nonprofit organization is, first and foremost, a health care provider. It is the largest provider of sex education in the United States. Every year, 2.5 million people—men and women—visit its health centers for care and information. It administers life-saving cancer-screening tests and offers contraception. In some states, it's the only abortion provider... — FastCo Design
"In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients."For more design responses to public health challenges, check out these links:Turning the “ugliest...
In 1980, for instance, fewer than 12 percent of American workers commuted for 45 minutes or more one way, according to the Census.
The Census didn't even bother separating out 60- and 90-minute commuters in 1980, since it was relatively rare. But they began tracking these mega-commuters in 1990. That year, 1.6 percent of workers commuted 90 minutes or more one way. In 2014, 2.62 percent of workers were commuting this long, an increase of 64 percent over the prevalence in 1990. — Washington Post
More about urban mobility:So Cal has dumped a lot of money into transit projects, but there's been little pay-off so farThe Ehang passenger drone might be another way people will get around town somedayIs America actually shifting away from its car obsession? Not entirely.Think driverless cars...
The tragedy of Flint, Michigan's water crisis seems to worsen with every newly uncovered detail. As a manmade public health crisis provoked by willful denial and compromised safety standards, the entirely preventable poisoning of Flint's water supply with lead stands not only as a failure to care...
Given the threat of ongoing lead exposure and the community’s well-founded mistrust of government, should families be offered at least temporary resettlement while upgrades, repairs and enhancements are made to Flint’s badly contaminated water infrastructure?
I ask this fully aware of how unprecedented and complex such a policy would be. After all, some 9,000 young children may have been exposed to contaminated water. — Washington Post
For more articles on urban health issues like the ongoing crisis in Flint, check out these links:America has an infrastructure problem – and it's getting criticalThe crisis in Flint and why architects should care about decentralizing our water systemsMore and more people are dying as a result of...
[Healthabitat, the non-profit Paul Pholeros co-founded,] developed a model called Housing for Health...working with Aboriginal communities, conducting a survey of all housing and completing urgent repairs using mainly local Indigenous contractors, and adding whatever upgrades or repairs they can afford until the money runs out.
The organisation has improved more than 8,000 houses – a third of Australia’s Indigenous-controlled housing stock – and with them the lives of 55,000 people. — The Guardian
More on Archinect:New study suggests Aboriginal collective memory reaches back more than 7,000 yearsMindscraper: high-rise educational facility renderings in Sydney unveiled by Grimshaw & BVNAn illustrated history of Canberra, the Australian capital designed by American architectsPeter...
For [Oklahoma City] is one of the nation’s most spread-out urban environments, covering 620 square miles, which means its 600,000 residents rely on cars [...]
[Mayor Mick Cornett] began to look afresh at the culture and infrastructure of his city, realising how the extent of reliance on cars had alienated human beings from enjoying and using their own urban environments. [...]
[Cornett] wanted to remake his huge metropolis by remoulding it around people in place of cars. — mosaicscience.com
More at the intersection of urban planning and public health:Why hypoallergenic landscaping needs more priority in urban planningAn environmental psychologist on why boring design is bad for your healthPreventing disease and upholding public health through architectureHealthy cities: How can...
boring environments can generate stress, impulsivity, lowered levels of positive affect, and risky behaviour. [...]
based on well-understood principles of neuroplasticity and on what is known of the effects of deprivation and enrichment in other more extreme settings ... there is every reason to believe that these sterile, homogeneous environments are exerting a measurable effect on our behaviour [...]
Given this, the prudent design of city streets and buildings is a matter of public health. — aeon.co
More on the intersection of urban design and mental health:How urban designers can better address mental health in their work, according to a new think tankMindy Thompson Fullilove is a psychiatrist for citiesPreventing disease and upholding public health through architectureIt's official: trees...
Scientists in Korea have discovered that using antibacterial soap when hand-washing is no more effective than using plain soap, according to a paper published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy... The study examined the effect of triclosan...on bacteria in two ways. The first was to examine the bactericidal effects of triclosan in soaps against all 20 strains, and the second compared the ability of antibacterial and non-antibacterial soap to remove bacteria from human hands... — Science Daily
For related Archinect articles:Between Sampling and Dowsing: Field Notes from GRNASFCKArchitecture of the Anthropocene, Pt. 2: Haunted Houses, Living Buildings, and Other Horror StoriesEven bacteria are architects
[Botany professor Paloma Cariñanos] found it surprising that the design of these green spaces thought about landscaping, climate, and fashion criteria, but didn't think about pollen problems.
[She] says that in the future, urban green spaces 'will become 'comfort islands' inside 'urban heat islands.''...Cariñanos and her team stress that their research is a tool for planning and prevention. They hope that other cities will be able to use their methods to prevent high allergen levels. — phys.org
You can read more of Cariñanos' team's research in the Journal of Environmental Quality.More on Archinect:Welcome to the jungle: Sou Fujimoto lectures on applying natural infrastructure to urban designDelhi’s air pollution is worse than Beijing's. A new app measures the air quality in real...
With the huge impact of mental disorders on people’s health and wellbeing, and the increased mental health risk of that comes simply from living in a city, you might think that mental health would be an urban health priority. In fact, few policies or recommendations for healthy urban environments address mental health in any depth. — CityMetric
Layla McCay, director of the recently launched Centre for Urban Design & Mental Health think tank, gives her two cents on the stigma that still overshadows mental health, both in urban design and current society.More on Archinect:Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a psychiatrist for citiesJason...
Fullilove increasingly came to see cities as ecosystems, with streams and channels, one flowing unseen into the next, disruptions wreaking havoc, threatening vitality everywhere. In a 1999 article in The International Journal of Mental Health, she showed federal urban renewal policies to be a fundamental cause of disease — NYT Magazine
Robert Sullivan profiles Mindy Thompson Fullilove. Trained as a psychiatrist, she studies the links between the environment and mental health and adapted the concept of "root shock" from gardening, which she applied to her studies of urban planning/policy and community psychology.
Archive (“Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments”) proposes “bringing attention to the built environment and how it is a transmission vehicle for the spread and control of a respiratory illness like TB” [...]
Archive is starting small, with an as-yet-uninitiated project on respiratory health and indoor pollutants in Ethiopia and projects on TB awareness in London. — nextcity.org
More on the intersection of architecture and public health:A story about death and architectureNew Parsons-led collaborative aims to make affordable housing healthierHow concrete floors can prevent child deaths in Bangladesh5 ways to build health into your architecture, as seen at GW’s new $...
SUBMIT NEWS: submit in 60 seconds!