Designing Healthy Communities is a provocative and challenging new four-hour public television series (2012), hosted by celebrated author and teacher, Richard Jackson, MD, MPH. Dr. Jackson makes the case that the rapidly deteriorating public health of our citizens is linked directly to nearly half-a-century of bad design decisions, now frozen in concrete. Each of the four hours looks at the different impacts our built environment in urban and suburban areas have on key public health indices—obesity, diabetes, heart, asthma, cancer, and depression. Dr. Jackson links bad community design with burgeoning health costs, then analyzes and illustrates what ordinary citizens, including many young people, are trying to do about this urgent crisis. This includes looking forward for solutions before ill health and disease occur. Dr. Jackson, an expert in the fields of public health and urban planning, offers us hopeful examples of innovative solutions to this public health crisis.
The companion book to the “Designing Healthy Communities” video series highlights how we design the built environment and its potential for addressing and preventing many of the nation’s devastating childhood and adult health problems. Co-authors Jackson and Sinclair look at the root causes of our malaise and highlight healthy community designs achieved by planners, designers, health professions, and community leaders working together. Ultimately, Dr. Jackson encourages all of us to make the kinds of positive changes highlighted by this book (see the Table of Contents).
The materials listed above are available to Washington State city/town/county officials and staff to borrow at no charge through the MRSC Library Loan Request Form. If you are not a Washington city/town/county official or employee, we suggest you contact your local public library library for information or research direction.