Disasters, both natural and man-made, can greatly affect human health. Government agencies must work together during a disaster to protect the health and safety of the individuals involved. Fire, rescue, police, hospital staff, public health departments, military, and civil defense all have a role to play. Heat waves, drought, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards are all natural, climatological disasters. Fortunately, technology allows us to predict many of these events, so we can warn citizens and emergency personnel.
Geological disasters such as floods, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions can sometimes be predicted; usually, the only available response is the evacuation of the region. Man-made disasters include forest fires, industrial accidents, and transportation accidents. In 2007, several disasters caught the media’s attention, including the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the collapse of a coal mine in Utah. These tragedies required the response of a large number of trained professionals from various organizations. Another man-made disaster concern is terrorism.
Terrorism is a purposeful disaster carried out to scare or threaten a large group of people. Terrorism includes both domestic and international acts. The state of the environment and its link to human health have gotten a lot of attention in the last few years. Individuals are more aware of how air and water quality, food safety, and disaster preparation are important to maintaining their health and safety. This trend is not just occurring in the United States but throughout the world. The World Health Organization (2014) has instituted healthy cities initiatives that “address a range of key topics: air quality, climate change, and flooding, food safety, housing, noise, transport, urban planning, waste, and water. Each offers information and support to people working at the local level. Other information and support for local government includes guides to planning and pamphlets for local authorities.”
Green architecture and green energy and transportation are becoming more popular, as people understand the benefits of these technologies. Homes of the future will likely:
More and more cities are seeing the benefits of green areas and greenways for biking, hiking, and recreation. These changes benefit the health of individuals by providing fresh air, a space for exercise, and an option for commuting without a car. Urban planners are looking more at public transportation, energy conservation, waste treatment, and urban forestry. Downtowns are being redeveloped in many areas, and community gardens and recycling centers are growing. The future holds many opportunities for us to improve environmental health. By making wise personal choices, we can improve environmental health for ourselves and those around us.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO). (2014). Healthy cities. Retrieved from http://
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
Please review the assessment instructions and scoring guide. No additional preparation is required.
The purpose of this assessment is to consider aspects of what makes a healthy city and to integrate your research to provide strategies for individuals and communities to improve environmental health.
To begin, suppose you are working with your city planner to develop a healthy city initiative for your city (or a city near you). You are tasked with developing a report that will be presented to your city council.
Craft a 4–5-page written document that could be presented to your city council, addressing the following points:
Your document should follow a logical structure and be evidence based. Use the APA Paper Template as a resource for formatting and citations.
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