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Urban settings have a direct impact on the health of the people who live there. Our lifestyles, living standards, health and social behaviours had a significant changes as a result of urbanization. Ratio of people living as drastically changes as before ten year three out of ten are living in cities but in future approx 2050 ,seven out of ten will be living in cities(10). Urban area provide great opportunities for individuals and families to prosper and opportunity with enhanced access to services, culture and recreation that provides a health living environment, because of this favourable aspects people are attracted by urban cities as started living there. But with this favourable condition there are health risk too for people living in cities as big city lights, bustling market places skyscrapers. Many new health challenges and health hazards rises to the denizen of city.
In developing world ,environmental factors are the main cause of compelling burden in terms of the of mortality and morbidity. Since a healthy environment is a prerequisite for a healthy population, a combine and broad approach to health and environment is required to protect both the environment and public health. In recent years mortality reduction Progress has although accelerated uneven improvement and large variations in health status persist both between and within countries. As Environment is linked with most of the Millennium Development Goals. But by year 2015 MDGs will be difficult to achieve without proper attention being paid to the environmental risk factors and its management.
Policies related to built environment in Developed countries
For shaping our lifestyle and environment policy is a effectual tool. In Public health domain researchers are made particularly in the areas how policy changes and to increase physical activity by large scale investments are made in transportation groundwork.
Decisive factor in how people get to work is built environment. For active commute, to make easier for people protected bike lanes, sidewalks and availability of bike storage. Similarly physical activity increases by access to public transportation, since it gives people a chance to walk to and from a bus stop . local trains and metro station.
- Land-Use Policies
During the last half of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century In the U.S., for highway development the direct subsidies and federal housing loans are two major policy decisions that fuelled the rise of sprawling suburban developments. Nonetheless, local cities and towns can enact policies for land-use, such as building codes and zoning regulations and to support physical activity create community-wide environments.
- Access to Public Transportation
Public transportation may help sluggish individuals to travel their workplaces in daily routine ,as it is cost effective especially for people low-income and minority groups, and good for daily physical activity. For disease control and prevention it is recommend for communities to improve access to public transport, this may encourage people to use it.
- Bike and Pedestrian-Friendly Street Designs and Policies
In the Netherlands, by contrast, trips are made by bike are 27 percent .While U.S. people are making more trips by walking .inn 2009 it is approx 10.5 percent of all trips.
In Europe umber of policies has been proposed based on successful support of active transport. This policies focuses on making streets safer for walking and biking: minimize speed limits, more time for longer pedestrian crossing, voluminous sidewalks, planting should be done to calm traffic in the roadways, city zones should be auto-free and protected, dedicated lanes for bike are few approaches. Some Other options include offering incentives for not using cars.
In early 2000s London made broad bike path, bike parking, and development of traffic safety and congestion pricing .In 2003 drivers have to pay fine to enter in city. From 2000 to 2008 these changes have been accompanied by a doubling in bicycle trips and a 12 percent reduction in serious cycling injuries.
In the U.S., to make roads safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclist a list of policies are made by the National Complete Streets Coalition for local, state, and federal governments.
Our surroundings and the policies that shape them have a substantial impact on where, when, how, and how much physical activity we get on a daily basis. Obesity epidemic is caused by lack of physical activity, friendly environments is one way to help turn around the epidemic. Buildings ,roads, communities are many elements to an activity-friendly environment encourage walking and biking; there are some plentiful and appealing places as parks, garden and playground (2).
The city has in fact become a key focus for promoting sustainable development policy within UK.
( which city……….?????)
- Make greater use of integrated urban development policy approaches (by creating and ensuring high-quality public spaces, modernising infrastructure networks and improving energy efficiency, proactive innovation and educational policies.
- Pay special attention to deprived neighbourhoods within the context of the city as a whole (by pursuing strategies to upgrade the physical environment, strengthen the local economy and local labour market policy, instigate proactive education and training policies, and promote efficient and affordable urban transport.
For example, By 2050 Vancouver city in Canada developed a plan to be the world’s greenest city and has approach to determined action plan to achieve its target with the competition with London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Stockholm such cities.
- By 2020 majority of people travels through public transport, cycling and walking.
- By 2020,0 % waste so that solid waste per capita going to dumping ground or cinerarium is reduced by 40%.
- BY 2020 Easy access to nature and green spaces with everyone living within a 5 minute walk of such space which will also see the planting of 150, 000 more trees.
- By 2020 taking pleasure of the best drinking water of any prime city in the world by meeting/beating national and international standards and 33% reducing per capita consumption.
- By 2020 WHO target access to the cleanest air of any major world city by meeting/beating.
Policies related to built environment in Developing countries
The built environment in many developing countries is fast decaying. The factors responsible can be traced to rapid urbanization, rural- urban migration, steady economic downturn, decay of urban infrastructure, and poor quality of original construction, lack of integrated planning, negligent urban housekeeping, and preservation of historic value, disaster and war.
This problem is more felt in Africa and Asia where half of the population are either homeless or living in houses which are dangerous to health and an affront to human dignity. Nearly 80.0% of the urban population lives in slums and squatter settlements without adequate water, lighting, sanitation and waste disposal (World Bank, 2005)
Following are some of the policy suggestions in developing countries –
The first to be considered is the need for quality housing and hygienic environment. To achieve this, extensive redevelopment and upgrading programmes through the provision of urban basic services are essential in the area priority should be given to provision of portable water disposal facilities, and proper maintenance of drainages. Sanitary inspections should be regularly carried out on provision of household facilities with the enforcement of environmental sanitary laws. Adequate funding should be given to Waste Management Authority for effective service as well as improved health facilities in the Area. Generally, poverty tends to breed poor environmental and unhygienic conditions that have great impact on human health. This is because poor cannot afford for the facility for a healthy living, most especially, quality housing thus they become vulnerable to health risks. To avoid this situation and assure good environmental standard, public enlightenment and environmental education would be necessary to keep the people well informed about the importance of healthy and hygienic environment. There is only one choice to make and that is preservation and proper management of our environment in such a way that it can be useful for the future generation. As we know health is wealth. The most promising area where the greatest impact can be made in combating the disease burden in our environments and ensure a stable healthier and longer lifespan for people surely lies on investment in environmental sanitation, good housing condition and sound health. Adequate plans should be made therefore to involve stakeholders, individuals and governments (local, state and federal) to redeeming the image of deplorable parts of our cities and rescue the lives of the poor residents.(3)
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