Neighborhoods and Health: An Overview
This chapter presents an overview of research on neighborhoods and health. Interest in the effects of the local environment on human health began some 2,500 years ago and reached its peak during the public health movements of the mid to late 19th century in Europe and America. Since World War II, much of the focus of public health has been on individual behaviors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and exercise. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the effects on health of the social and physical environment within epidemiology, geography, psychology, and sociology. This renewed interest must not ignore the lessons of the past or lessons from other disciplines such as architecture, urban planning, political science, and economics.
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