Sprawling Cities and Our Endangered Public Health
Routledge – 2012 – 256 pages
Sprawl is an unsustainable pattern of growth that threatens to undermine the health of communities globally. It has been a dominant mid-to-late twentieth century growth pattern in developed countries and in the twenty-first century has shown widespread signs of proliferation in India, China, and other growing countries. The World Health Organization cites sprawl for its serious adverse public health consequences for humans and ecological habitats. The many adverse impacts of sprawl on the health of individuals, communities, and biological ecosystems are well documented. Architects have been rightly criticized for failing to grasp the aesthetic and functional challenge to create buildings and places that mitigate sprawl while simultaneously promoting healthier, active lifestyles in neighbourhoods and communities.
Sprawling Cities and Our Endangered Public Health examines the past and present role of architecture in relation to the public health consequences of unmitigated sprawl and the ways in which it threatens our future. Topics examined include the role of twentieth century theories of architecture and urbanism and their public health ramifications, examples of current unsustainable practices, design considerations for the creation of health-promoting architecture and landscape urbanism, a critique of recent case studies of sustainable alternatives to unchecked sprawl, and prognostications for the future.
Architects, public health professionals, landscape architects, town planners, and a broad range of policy specialists will be able to apply the methods and tools presented here to counter unmitigated sprawl and to create architecture that promotes active, healthier lifestyles. Stephen Verderber is an internationally respected evidence-based researcher/practitioner/educator in the emerging, interdisciplinary field of architecture, health, and society. This, his latest book on the interactions between our buildings, our cities and our health, is an invaluable reference source for everyone concerned with sustainable architecture and landscape urbanism.
1. Introduction: An Epidemic on Our Doorstep 2. Sprawl, Architecture, and Health: a Brief History 3. Global Sprawl Machines 4. Transfusion: Design Considerations 5. Case Study: New Orleans 6. The Future