Creating A Healthy City
As the population within Oklahoma City grows, it will become more and more important that we look to developing a Healthy City that increases its environmental health. Building a city that is safe, healthy, and economically stable by making plans now, will help bring that vision to life. Understanding what environmental health is and how it effects communities on an individual level and as a global community, will provide understanding what actions need to be taken. Also knowing the importance of planning for a disaster, rather than reacting, will help maintain the city’s environmental health.
Defining Environmental Health
We often hear the term environmental health, but rarely know what it means and any mistaken it to mean the same as environmentalism. To understand what environmental health means we need to define each of its components. The World Health Organization (2017) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The environment can be defined as conditions circumstances and influences that affect the development and/or the existence of people or other living things.
Taking in both definitions we can say that environmental health is the understanding of how we, as a society or individual, can sustain life in this world for future generations. It is how we can prevent diseases and create a supportive environment to surround ourselves in (Healthy People 2020, 2017). Environmental health goes beyond just medical treatment as it includes all aspects of life such as sustainable resources, social justice, equality, stable ecosystem, income, food, shelter, and education.
Relation of Healthy Cities to Environmental Health
A healthy city is a theoretical framework for a process in which the citizens of a community help to create and sustain healthy communities. The environment around society has long been determined to play an important factor on health. A healthy city aims to create a health-supportive environment, improve quality of life, provide basic sanitation and hygiene needs, and give greater access to health care. Though political commitment, institutional changes, capacity-building, partnership-based planning and innovative projects, the city can help promote and environment that is better for its citizen’s overall wellbeing. A healthy city movement emphasizes on the need to address and change inequality in health poverty, meet the needs of vulnerable groups, and addressing and shaping the social, economic and environmental determinants of the community’s health.
The Obstacles to Becoming a Healthy City
For the city to improve public health and promote environmental health, they will have to face many obstacles on the way. One of the biggest challenges is sustaining member’s involvement throughout the process. Though healthy cities should involve the whole of the community, it will need the commitment of those...