Increase in scholarly articles on the built environment and health

Here is a piece from my book, Building American Public Health.  It tracks the increase in the number of scholarly articles on the built environment and health.

One way to track the growth in research on a health topic is through charting the number of citations in Medline, the National Library of Medicine’s online database of peer-reviewed journal articles. The term “built environment” had nine citations older than 1991, 14 between 1991 and 1995, 21 between 1996 and 2000, and 161 in 2010 alone. The terms “walkability” and “street connectivity” first appear in Medline in 2003, “food desert” in 2005. These numbers should be interpreted with caution because many older journals may not have been added to the database and there has been an increase in the total number of articles published on all topics over the years, but the data still most likely reflect a large-scale increase in the amount of research on the built environment.


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