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Built environment change: a framework to support health-enhancing behaviour through environmental policy and health research
  1. Ethan M Berke1,2,
  2. Anne Vernez-Moudon3
  1. 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
  2. 2Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
  3. 3College of Built Environments, Department of Urban Design and Planning, Urban Form Lab, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ethan M Berke, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, HB 7251, Room 3014, 35 Centerra Parkway, Lebanon, NH 03766, USA; ethan.m.berke{at}dartmouth.edu

Abstract

As research examining the effect of the built environment on health accelerates, it is critical for health and planning researchers to conduct studies and make recommendations in the context of a robust theoretical framework. We propose a framework for built environment change (BEC) related to improving health. BEC consists of elements of the built environment, how people are exposed to and interact with them perceptually and functionally, and how this exposure may affect health-related behaviours. Integrated into this framework are the legal and regulatory mechanisms and instruments that are commonly used to effect change in the built environment. This framework would be applicable to medical research as well as to issues of policy and community planning.

  • Spatial Analysis
  • Policy
  • Health Behaviour
  • Environmental Health
  • Geography

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