Building American Public Health: How to look at the built environment

From the ending of Chapter 1:

There is a basic contradiction imbedded in any book on health and the built environment. A thousand words cannot adequately describe the tranquility of a neatly landscaped postwar suburb or the dynamism of a downtown office district at 8:45 on a weekday morning. An even greater challenge is to describe a past that no longer exists except in our collective memories and prejudices. What were early reformers trying to accomplish? What would we have done given their available tools and technologies? Would we have produced any greater health improvements? This book asks readers to understand other worlds, some long gone, some contemporary but still unexamined. The only way to experience a book on the built environment is also the only way to experience a city, suburb, or rural area: be a part of one’s surroundings. In that way, one can reconsider one’s own values, ideas, and assumptions. It is hoped, therefore, that this book will prompt people to rethink the environment around them.


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