Web Forum

Designing Healthy Communities: Uniting the Missions and Perspectives of Public Health and Urban Planning
A Conversation with Richard Jackson, MD, MPH
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Pacific

Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, has dedicated his career to raising the public's consciousness about how we design the built environment and implications for health equity and to address and prevent many of the nation's devastating childhood and adult health concerns. This Web Forum offers a chance to learn first-hand from an expert about the root causes of our malaise and how healthy community designs can be achieved by planners, designers, and community leaders working together. The session is also a unique opportunity to meet the author, as Dr. Jackson's book, Designing Healthy Places, will be released in October, 2011, and a public television documentary based on his work will be aired early in 2012.

Healthy people and a healthy environment are inseparable, according to Dr. Jackson, a professor at UCLA and former Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Center for Environmental Health. It is possible, Dr. Jackson believes, to create communities around people, not vehicles. The design and construction of the built environment have broad implications for all our health. Health promotion can occur at all scales of the built environment, including buildings, communities and global infrastructure. The disabled, poor and other disadvantaged groups may benefit most from built environment improvements. These improvements require partnerships among urban planners, engineers, architects, developers, public health practitioners and communities.

Urban planning and public health both aim to improve human well-being, emphasize needs assessment and service delivery, manage complex social systems, focus at the population level, and rely on community-based participatory methods. Both fields focus on the needs of vulnerable populations. Integration of these fields is essential in restoring and enhancing the health and vitality of the nation's places and people.








    Richard J Jackson, MD, MPH
    Professor and Chair
    Environmental Health Sciences
    Institute of the Environment & Sustainability
    Urban Planning
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Richard J Jackson, MD, MPHRichard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles.

    He is former California State Health Officer and for nine years was the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta. (www.ph.ucla.edu/ehs, www.environment.ucla.edu, publicaffairs.ucla.edu/urban-planning, and www.ucla.edu)


    Mary Pittman, DrPH
    President & CEO
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Mary PittmanMary A. Pittman, DrPH, is chief executive officer and president of the Public Health Institute (PHI) in Oakland, California. A nationally recognized leader in improving community health, addressing health inequities among vulnerable people and promoting quality of care, Pittman became in 2008 PHIís second CEO and president since its founding in 1964. She has guided the development of a strategic plan that builds on existing PHI program strengths to achieve greater impact on public policy and practice in public health both in the U.S. and globally. PHIís areas of focus include childhood obesity, prevention, the implementation of health reform, global health, the impacts of climate change on public health, the social determinants of health, the role of technology in health, increasing advocacy for the publicís health, and health workforce shortages. Under her leadership, PHI has been recognized as one of the 50 best nonprofit workplaces in the nation.

    Pittman previously headed the Health Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, and the California Association of Public Hospitals. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and masterís degrees from UC Berkeley in public health and city and regional planning. (www.phi.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Jackson/University of California, Los Angeles



Yancey/Instant Recess Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time

Order "Designing Healthy Communities" (hardcover or e-book) directly from Wiley and save 20%! Use code W12CH at checkout.
Link: http://www.josseybass.com/go/jackson


The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


Designing Healthy Communities Preview

Follow Dr. Richard Jackson as he explores America's cities, towns, and communities in search for innovate individuals striving to make a better, healthier future.

Preview: Designing Healthy Communities Series with Dr. Richard Jackson 26June12 from MPC on Vimeo.

For the first time on national television, the rapidly deteriorating public health of our citizens is linked to nearly half-a-century of bad design decisions, now frozen in concrete. Each hour looks at the different impacts our built environment has on our key public health indices---obesity, diabetes, heart, asthma, cancer and depression. These relationships were never observed or talked about until Dr. Richard Jackson, a pediatrician-turned-public–health officer, began to demonstrate, more than a decade ago, that we are what we build.

Retrieved from: http://designinghealthycommunities.org


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo The California Endowment

Public Health Institute

The California Endowment