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Concepts Series 11 - The built environment and health: an evidence review

Date: December 2013
Category: Briefing Paper
Work programme: Healthy urban planning
Author: GCPH

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This short review summarises the current literature around the links between the built environment and health through referencing studies from developed nations and by drawing on the experience of the centre in working with partners across Glasgow. The review is intended to offer guidance to those responsible for shaping decisions around the design, characteristics and maintenance of urban places from professions such as planning, regeneration, housing and health.

By better understanding the complex nature of urban environments and the future challenges facing cities, decision making can be well informed and responsive to local needs. The review highlights some of the ways in which features of the built environment can exacerbate inequalities in health, and we hope that increased awareness of the unfair distribution of environmental resources and features can be translated into action on the ground.