Do Architects Need to Make Communities Healthier?
Our physical and mental health is influenced by where we live, work, and play. This is why public health organizations have gathered to promote advanced healthier and more walkable communities to combat chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, asthma and anxiety which are attributed to the built environment.
The "Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities" is comprised of 450,000 professionals that have linked the influences of the built environment on health. They've examined that the design and build of public spaces as well as the travel between communities is symptomatic. So to prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases caused by such factors, they have come together to work towards creating and sustaining healthy buildings and spaces.
Encouraging physical activity and mobility in a community can be accomplished through various different ways. Some will focus on the design of pathways to make them more inclusive while others may focus on transportation, green infrastructure, or reevaluate the allocation of water and resource use.
While implementing physical activity initiatives in the community helps to improve the overall community health, The "Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities" wants to foster further collaboration between landscape architects and health initiatives. They hope to see communities that advance health, they want to offer measurable health objectives for plans and projects, further communicate the importance of health, and create policies, programs, and systems that encourage community health, well being and equity.