"Health By Design" symposium in Sacramento
> HEALTHIER BY DESIGN
> Symposium to explore how better community planning
> can improve public health
> SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Has the design and construction
> of the American suburb
> led to poorer health? Are there long-term public
> health consequences to
> building schools, offices and stores far from where
> people live?
> Experts point to long commutes and short
> neighborhood drives as not only
> adding to air quality problems but also inhibiting
> physical activity. The
> results, they say, can be seen in the rising rates
> of obesity, asthma,
> osteoporosis, heart problems and a variety of other
> chronic maladies.
> Excess weight and physical inactivity alone are not
> only the nation's
> leading causes of premature death behind
> tobacco-related illnesses, they
> also come with a very expensive price tag. In
> California, obesity-related
> problems cost more than $25 billion a year in
> medical bills, injuries and
> lost employee productivity.
> Such costs, both physical and financial, will be
> among the focal points at
> a unique, one-day symposium in Sacramento this fall.
> Experts ranging from
> architects and physicians to land-use planners,
> developers and public
> health officials are coming together to explore the
> broad impacts of the
> 'built environment' - the ways subdivisions, urban
> centers and roadways
> have been designed in recent decades - and how
> better planning could
> improve public health.
> The daylong event, entitled "Health by Design," is
> slated for Thursday,
> October 20, 2005, at the Sacramento Convention
> "Planners, architects, designers and elected
> officials need to understand
> that all the decisions they make have health
> implications," says Richard J.
> Jackson, a pediatrician and the former state public
> health officer for
> California. "They're not merely design,
> architecture, planning, water-use,
> land-use, air-use or commercial-use decisions."
> Jackson is co-author of the book Urban Sprawl and
> Public Health: Designing,
> Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities and a
> featured speaker at
> the upcoming symposium. He points out that public
> health and community
> design have gone hand-in-hand in the past. At the
> turn of the last century,
> one of the ways doctors fought infectious diseases
> such as tuberculosis and
> cholera was by insisting that cities had to build
> better sanitation and
> sewage systems.
> Jackson and other advocates of what's often termed
> "Smart Growth" suggest
> that the efforts to improve pedestrian facilities,
> preserve green space and
> upgrade public transportation can promote physical
> and mental health, and
> thereby help reduce the rise in chronic ills and
> Sponsored by the UC Davis Health System and the
> Central Valley chapter of
> the American Institute of Architects, the 'Health by
> Design' symposium will
> also feature architect and urban designer Daniel
> Solomon; Don Chen,
> executive director of Smart Growth America; and
> futurist Maddy Dychtwald,
> who will speak to some of the key changing
> demographic and social trends in
> the coming decade.
> Also on the day's agenda are Edward O'Neil, from UC
> San Francisco's Center
> for Health Professions, and Marc Schenker, from the
> UC Davis Department of
> Public Health Sciences. O'Neil plans to highlight
> the major trends and
> challenges facing America's health-care workforce.
> Schenker plans to lead a
> panel discussion that focuses on some of the proven
> strategies for
> enhancing the livability of newly built communities.
> Space for the Health by Design event is limited.
> Interested individuals
> are urged to reserve early. The symposium is
> accredited as a continuing
> education program for architects and physicians.
> For additional
> information visit