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Am J Public Health. 2003 Sep;93(9):1500-8.

The impact of community design and land-use choices on public health: a scientific research agenda.

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National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4770 Buford Highway, Mail Stop F-30, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


The design of a community's built environment influences the physical and mental health of its residents. Because few studies have investigated this relationship, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a workshop in May 2002 to help develop a scientific research agenda on these issues. Workshop participants' areas of expertise included physical activity, injury prevention, air pollution, water quality, urban planning, transportation, architecture, epidemiology, land use, mental health, social capital, housing, and social marketing. This report describes the 37 questions in the resulting research agenda. The next steps are to define priorities and obtain resources. The proposed research will help identify the best practices for designing new communities and revitalizing old ones in ways that promote physical and mental health.

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