Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Umut Toker

Abstract

Emerging research shows a clear relationship between urban design and public health. Major issues effecting public health include cardiovascular disease, high rates of obesity, and associated diseases like Type 2 diabetes. These conditions can be attributed, in a large part, to personal habits, including diet and physical activity. Certain elements of urban design have an impact on personal habits and therefore affect health. This report explores the relationship between urban design and public health, first broadly, and then at a micro-scale, examining the relationship in the context of the City of Delano, California.

This exploratory study begins with an in-depth literature review examining the links between urban design and public health. The literature review is followed by a Community Healthy Assessment, a tool that was used to gather data on existing conditions of urban design and public health in Delano. Based on findings from the Community Health Assessment, a series of policy and urban design recommendations are made, with the intent of aiding in improving overall health in Delano. Policy recommendations are mentioned in this paper, but not addressed further. Urban Design recommendations were developed into a document for the City of Delano to use as a reference, titled Healthy Delano Design Guidelines: a guide to health-oriented planning.

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