social environmental Value
Public Health

The physical state of the general population

The built environment can have a significant effect on the health of local and global communities. Buildings are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions,1 which contribute to rising respiratory ailments,2 such as asthma, and even increased death rates.3

But smart design also can be a solution by promoting better public health. Energy efficiency can lower carbon emissions, for example. In addition, creating environments that encourage casual exercise can directly affect physical health. Studies show that children who live in walkable neighborhoods are 59% less likely to be obese.4 Density and walkability also reduce the need for vehicles, further lowering fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

By consciously designing to promote healthier lifestyles and environments, architects can make a significant impact on the health issues which are currently affecting our population.