The US Centers for Disease Control are often in the news for potential outbreaks of deadly diseases, and, more recently, on the issue of gun violence as a public health threat. On the more positive side of their mission, the CDC focuses on the role of place design and its effect on public health, an evolution of the “smart growth” movement of the 1990s.
The Healthy Community Design site of the CDC has great resources that show the links between design and health. Healthy designs affect local health outcomes by:
- Increasing physical activity;
- Reducing injury;
- Increasing access to healthy food;
- Improving air and water quality;
- Minimizing the effects of climate change ;
- Decreasing mental health stresses;
- Strengthening the social fabric of a community; and
- Providing fair access to livelihood, education, and resources.
A lot of these goals are achieved by a fairly simple change that all of us can make: more walking, less car driving.
Designing the greater Charlottesville area for this kind of a future is an exciting possibility. Piedmont Housing is ready to rise to the challenge.