Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Designing Healthy Cities: Prescriptions, Principles, and Practice

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Designing Healthy Cities: Prescriptions, Principles, and Practice

Article excerpt

Review: Designing Healthy Cities: Prescriptions, Principles, and Practice By Joseph Aicher Aicher, Joseph. Designing Healthy Cities: Prescriptions, Principles, and Practice Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co., 1998. 142pp. US $29.50, cloth. ISBN: 0894649272.

Desired by all, realized by only a few, healthy cities "can provide tremendous resources to promote human health." However, as the author states in his preface, cities often fall short of this ideal. Aicher clears the air surrounding many of the issues facing today's city dwellers, including high-rise living, toxic hazards, crowding, traffic, pests, noise, and many more. He emphasizes the good news that it is not necessarily more costly to design healthy cities than those that are unhealthy. It merely requires a willingness to take a holistic approach to design by bringing together the multifaceted aspects of the physical, biochemical, socioeconomic, and psychosocial environments of modern living.

Based upon a stress-support model, Aicher devotes a chapter to each of these aspects. Although the geographic scope of the problem, like this text, is international, the focus here is on the United States. While the need for more information on this topic is very real, it is difficult to find current material. Yet, a good companion volume to the one under consideration here is Directions in Person-Environment Research and Practice, edited by Jack L. Nasar and Wolfgang F.E. Preiser. As might be expected, the Internet offers a number of useful resources as well, such as the final report of the National Science Foundation 1998 workshop on urban sustainability, "Towards a Comprehensive Geographical Perspective on Urban Sustainability" .

Organized around major sources of stress and support, Aicher's book addresses the many challenges facing architects, city planners, engineers, environmentalists, health professionals, and city residents, one issue at a time. …

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