Creating a Healthy City

OVERVIEW

Develop a 4–5-page healthy-city initiative suitable for implementation by your city.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Assess basic environmental health principles, theories, and issues.
    • Define the term environmental health.
    • Assess how healthy cities relate to environmental health.
    • Analyze obstacles for a city in becoming a healthy city.
    • Describe the financial issues involved in creating a healthy city.
    • Analyze how environmental health is an individual concern.
    • Analyze how environmental health is a global concern.
  • Competency 3: Apply personal and professional decisions based upon an understanding of environmental risks.
    • Describe how a city could become prepared for disasters.
    • Assess benefits of developing a healthy city to one’s self, family, and community.
  • Competency 4: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
    • Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.

    CONTEXT

    Government agencies play many roles that impact environmental health. The Assessment 6 Context document provides a brief overview of some of those roles. You may wish to review this document for key concepts and ideas on this topic.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

For the following questions about disaster preparation, refer to the “Make a Plan” and “Test Your Readiness Quotient” resources linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading.

  • What kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area?
  • How would you be notified of an emergency situation in your community?
  • How many of the Readiness Quotient Test questions would you be able to answer as “Yes”? What steps could you take to achieve 10 out of 10 “Yes” answers?
  • What is your disaster plan?

For the following questions about your personal impact on environmental health, consider the course as a whole.

  • What will you take away from this course?
  • Have you made any changes in your lifestyle?
  • Will you make any changes based on what you have learned?
Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

  • Transition US. (2013). Transition 101. Retrieved from http://transitionus.org/transition-101
  • Transition US. (2013). Organizing your initiative: Getting started. Retrieved from http://transitionus.org/knowledge-hub/organizing/g…
  • The Pachamama Alliance. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.pachamama.org/
  • World Health Organization. (2014). Healthy cities. Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environme…
  • Ready.gov. (2014, January 29). Make a plan. Retrieved from http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
    • This reading is presented as part of the Questions to Consider for this assessment. Note: You are encouraged but not required to complete the Questions to Consider.
  • The United States Army. (2008, September 11). Test your readiness quotient. Retrieved from http://www.army.mil/article/12318/Test_your_Readin…
    • This reading is a transcript that describes an Internet quiz that is no longer available online. However, the quiz questions that are presented in the reading can be used as a guideline for a self-analysis of your own readiness quotient.
    • This reading is presented as part of the Questions to Consider for this assessment. Note: You are encouraged but not required to complete the Questions to Consider.
    Library Resources

    The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

    ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTIONS

    The purpose of this assessment is to consider aspects of what makes a healthy city and to integrate your research to provide strategies for individuals and communities to improve environmental health.To begin, suppose you are working with your city planner to develop a healthy city initiative for your city (or a city near you). You are tasked with developing a report that will be presented to your city council.Craft a 4–5-page written document that could be presented to your city council, addressing the following points:

    • What is environmental health?
    • Why is creating a healthy city important to environmental health?
    • What could your city do to become a healthy city?
      • What would be the obstacles to change, and why are they obstacles?
      • What financial issues would have to be considered?
      • How would these changes benefit you, your family, and your community?
    • What could your city do to become better prepared for disasters, both natural and human-made?
    • Why should environmental health be considered an individual concern? Why should it be considered a global concern?
    • What could you or your family do—in your home, your neighborhood, and your workplace—to reduce your personal impact on the environmental health of your city?

    ASSESSMENT 6 CONTEXT

    GOVERNMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

    Disasters, both natural and man-made, can greatly affect human health. Government agencies must work together during a disaster to protect the health and safety of the individuals involved. Fire, rescue, police, hospital staff, public health departments, military, and civil defense all have a role to play.Heat waves, drought, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards are all natural, climatological disasters. Fortunately, technology allows us to predict many of these events, so we can warn citizens and emergency personnel. Geological disasters such as floods, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions can sometimes be predicted, but usually the only available response is evacuation of the region.Man-made disasters include forest fires, industrial accidents, and transportation accidents. In 2007, several disasters caught the media’s attention, including the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the collapse of a coal mine in Utah. These tragedies required the response of a large number of trained professionals from various organizations. Another man-made disaster concern is terrorism. Terrorism is a purposeful disaster carried out to scare or threaten a large group of people. Terrorism includes both domestic and international acts.The state of the environment and its link to human health have gotten a lot of attention in the last few years. Individuals are more aware of how air and water quality, food safety, and disaster preparation are important to maintaining their health and safety.This trend is not just occurring in the United States, but throughout the world. The World Health Organization (2014) has instituted healthy cities initiatives that “address a range of key topics: air quality, climate change, and flooding, food safety, housing, noise, transport, urban planning, waste, and water. Each offers information and support to people working at the local level. Other information and support for local government includes guides to planning and pamphlets for local authorities.”

    GOING GREEN

    Green architecture and green energy and transportation are becoming more popular, as people understand the benefits of these technologies. Homes of the future will likely:

    • Be easier to maintain.
    • Be energy efficient with solar or alternative types of heating and cooling.
    • Use recycled materials and nonpolluting paint.
    • Have heat-efficient windows, low-flow toilets, and a reservoir for rainwater.

    More and more cities are seeing the benefits of green areas and greenways for biking, hiking, and recreation. These changes benefit the health of individuals by providing fresh air, a space for exercise, and an option for commuting without a car. Urban planners are looking more at public transportation, energy conservation, waste treatment, and urban forestry. Downtowns are being redeveloped in many areas, and community gardens and recycling centers are growing.The future holds many opportunities for us to improve environmental health. By making wise personal choices, we can improve environmental health for ourselves and those around us.

    Reference

    World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO). (2014). Healthy cities. Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environme…

 

Solution Preview

Creating a Healthy City

Creating a healthy city can only happen if there are several initiatives that are implemented to ensure that the health and welfare of the people is safeguarded. On many occasions, government agencies are charged with the responsibility of developing environmental health programs for the community. Environmental health is branch in public health that is concerned with various aspects in the environment that affect the health and well-being of the people. Its main focus is on the built and natural environments which can easily affect the people.

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