Hanna, Kathi, Coussens, Christine. "Abstracts of Talks." Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: A New Vision of Environmental Health for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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as a policy goal; (3) the realization that the most desirable technological responses do not necessarily come from the regulated or polluting firms; (4) understanding that comprehensive technological changes are needed that optimize productivity, environmental quality, and worker/or public health and safety; and (5) an appreciation of the fact that in order to change its technology, a firm must have the willingness, opportunity, and capacity to change.
PLANNING THE COMMUNITY: CITY PLANNING AND HUMAN HEALTH
J. Christian Bollwage
Public policy on the environment impacts our cities. Like other communities, the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was an industrialized area until the 1970s and the 1980s when manufacturing jobs were leaving the Northeast. The city needed to undergo revitalization to become a service economy.
Revitalizing a land tract from a landfill into a usable piece of land requires strategic planning and collaboration between public and private stakeholders. In Elizabeth, this planning created 5,000 jobs while cleaning a previous hazardous waste site. Other activities in the city include redeveloping vacant brownfields into ballparks, supermarkets, and so forth. The revitalization of brownfields raised revenues while preventing further destruction of invaluable green space—a precious commodity in cities.
TRANSPORTATION AND HUMAN HEALTH
Health is more than the absence of disease. When we discuss healthy people, homes, and communities, environmental justice is the starting point. Environmental justice embraces the principle that all communities are entitled to equal protection of environmental laws, housing laws, et cetera. Integration of the environment is not about profits, protecting or regulating corporations, and providing permits. There is a false view that a dichotomy occurs such that it must be jobs versus the environment or jobs versus health. There does not have to be a trade-off. Our society and court system put the burden of proof on the victims and the community to prove that chemical X caused Y disease.
There is a direct correlation between per capita income and waste generation. Further, individuals with higher incomes do not live near toxic waste sites or waste dumps. This results in an uneven distribution of exposure to potentially harmful environments and a need to relocate the entire community.
Urban sprawl is creating additional problems throughout the United States. The effect on the environment is dramatic. Ground-level ozone and the creation of a heat island are two of these problems. Identifying the problems is not enough.