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Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: The Greater Houston Metropolitan Area - Workshop Summary
The typical American community is characterized by the poorly designed and often unplanned version, replete with such characteristics as traffic congestion, poor air quality, and a weak sense of community.
Samuel H. Wilson
ing low-density areas that often neglects the influence of the built environment on the social and natural environments, and on human health and quality of life.
Wilson illustrated the contrast between sprawl and the plan of a traditional neighborhood, on whose streets one can easily walk to a nearby school or shopping destination (Figure 5.1). Services and needs in such neighborhoods are within convenient reach of residents, who thus may often forgo the use of their cars. In the suburban sprawl pattern, by contrast, residences are built in clusters well removed from services and needs. Walking or bicycling is inconvenient—even dangerous, sidewalks are often lacking, and a major roadway is usually part of the route. Moreover, this built environment pattern, whose
FIGURE 5.1 As populations move, there is a shift from traditional neighborhoods to suburban areas. In traditional neighborhoods, residents can walk to nearby schools, shopping destinations, and other conveniences. By contrast, in suburban areas the emphasis is on building in clusters, often removed from necessary services. This encourages greater dependence on the automobile and often discourages walking and biking. SOURCE: Spielberg, 1989. Reprinted with permission.