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Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities Paperback – July 9, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1559633055 ISBN-10: 1559633050 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"Suburban sprawl is killing us. Increasingly, physicians, public health officials, planners, and designers recognize the relationships between our health and our built surroundings. Urban Sprawl and Public Health offers a cogent diagnosis of this health menace as well as timely prescriptions for healing our cities."
(Frederick Steiner dean, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin)

"A growing body of research demonstrates that community design and our built environment have enormous potential for addressing many of our chief public health concerns. The authors convincingly argue that building a healthier future is not only possible, but essential."
(Georges C. Benjamin MD, FACP, executive director, APHA)

"Years ago, we could see that the correlation between sprawl and poor health should be made. Now it is done. Urban Sprawl and Public Health details how our lifestyle leads to serious health problems. This book should be reviewed widely and its facts should be known by all of us. It will be one of the central texts of the New Urbanism."
(Andres Duany author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American)

About the Author

Howard Frumkin is Dean of the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.
Richard Jackson is Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at University of California Los Angeles.
Larry Frank is Bombadier Chair in Sustainable Transportation Systems at the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (July 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559633050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559633055
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Howard Frumkin is Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health. From 2005 to 2010, he was at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first as Director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR), and later as Special Assistant to the Director for Climate Change and Health. Under Dr. Frumkin's directorship, CDC launched its programs in Climate Change and in Healthy Community Design, strengthened and expanded its laboratory biomonitoring program, began environmental health training programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral students, and launched a National Conversation on Chemical Exposures and Public Health, designed to update and strengthen the nation's public health strategies regarding toxic chemical exposures. Before joining CDC he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Emory Medical School.

Dr. Frumkin currently serves on the Boards of the Bullitt Foundation, the Children and Nature Network, the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council, on the National Research Council Committee on Sustainability Linkages in the Federal Government, on the Executive Committee for the Regional Open Space Strategy for Central Puget Sound, on the Yale Climate and Energy Institute External Advisory Board, on Procter & Gamble's Sustainability Expert Advisory Panel, and on the Advisory Board for the National Sustainable Communities Coalition. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), where he co-chaired the Environment Committee; as president of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC); as chair of the Science Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA); on the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors; and on the Board of the National Environmental Education Foundation. As a member of EPA's Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, he chaired the Smart Growth and Climate Change work groups. A graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, he was named Environmental Professional of the Year by the Georgia Environmental Council in 2004. His research interests include public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, and nature contact; toxic effects of chemicals; and environmental health policy. He is the author or co-author of over 200 scientific journal articles and chapters, and his books include Urban Sprawl and Public Health (Island Press, 2004, co-authored with Larry Frank and Dick Jackson; named a Top Ten Book of 2005 by Planetizen, the Planning and Development Network), Emerging Illness and Society (Johns Hopkins Press, 2004, co-edited with Randall Packard, Peter Brown, and Ruth Berkelman), Environmental Health: From Global to Local (Jossey-Bass, 2005 and 2010), Safe and Healthy School Environments (Oxford University Press, 2006, co-edited with Leslie Rubin and Robert Geller), Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, Economics (National Academies Press, 2007, co-edited with Christine Coussens), and Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability (Island Press, 2011, co-edited with Andrew Dannenberg and Dick Jackson).

Dr. Frumkin received his A.B. from Brown University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. from Harvard, his Internal Medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge Hospital, and his Occupational Medicine training at Harvard. He is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Collegium Ramazzini, and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Howard W. Mielke on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
The costs of sprawl are enormous. This book describes the costs in terms of many different types of public health measurements. If you haven 't thought about sprawl, this is a good place to start. It is chilling to think about how many physical, emotional, psychological and medical ramifications there are to the US automobile lifestyle. The price to degradation of the planet was not discussed in depth but that too would make you think about our legacy of our lifestyle to the quality of our planet for future generations. I am encouraged that the topic is being developed. The automobile lifestyle is addictive and to change it will require a paradigm shift. The shift starts with organized discussions and lucidly presented data. This book is excellent on both accounts.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on February 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
A broad (though not particularly deep) guide to the public health problems associated with sprawl, including: (1) the air pollution caused by sprawl-induced auto traffic, (2) the health consequences of the reduction in walking caused by automobile dependency, (3) injuries and deaths from auto traffic, (4) water quality problems associated with suburban development, (5) the alleged intangible costs of automobile dependency (e.g. driving-induced stress, the isolation of nondrivers). None of these issues are addressed in enormous detail; for example, the book occasionally mentions pro-sprawl counterarguments, but does not fully address them. But then again, each of these topics could probably justify a separate book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marc J. Yacht on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Europeans are way ahead of our efforts to consider health issues in the urban planning process. This book provides a history and direction to address urban sprawl and understand well the health implications of reckless or solely market-driven city planning. After all, no built community will have sustainability, if its populations are at risk for chronic and acute illness.

Presented are the ingredients to make our cities safer and livable. This is a must read for City Planners, County officials, and anyone interested in cleaning up our urban communities with an eye toward social equity and environmental justice. MJY
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The authors have brought together several disciplines in a compelling and convincing narrative that links the importance of urban planning for healthy living. The book contains striking data, stories and photos that show how closely the rise in obesity, diabetes and asthma (to name a few) have been linked to increasing urban sprawl. One of the main results of urban sprawl is increased time spent driving which not only increases stress but the time spent in gridlock traffic reduces family time and community involvement. The result of spending so much time commuting is much more severe than many people realize because it results in exhausted, anxious and stressed people who have little time to their children and neighbors, or in the language of the book "social capital." I highly recommend this book for anyone who seeks to see healthier cities that are designed for people rather than cars.
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