The Built Environment and Health
Without us realizing it, the buildings, streets, and open space that make up our communities – the built environment – shape our lives, our social relationships, our behavior and especially our health. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, asthma, injuries and violence have all been linked to the places where people live and work, the distance between these places, and how people get from one place to another.
The Built Environment Program works with a variety of partners including city staff, elected officials, community organizations, schools and residents. Together, we help plan cities and neighborhoods that improve health and quality of life for residents of all income levels by reducing traffic injuries, community violence, and exposure to toxins, and promoting physical activity and access to healthy food.
The Built Environment Program aims to accomplish these goals by addressing:
Climate Change:We recently identified health impacts of climate change in the county's draft Climate Action Plan. As part of that process, we also analyzed the ways in which actions taken to prevent further climate change can immediately improve people's health, a positive side-effect known as a health "co-benefit." We've also created maps showing where rising temperatures and sea levels will have the most impact in Contra Costa County.