Designing Health Promotive Environments

Jan 01, 1991

This paper presents a social ecological conceptualization of environmental health which emphasizes (1) the interplay between the physical-material and social symbolic features of environments, as they influence (2) the emotional and physical well-being of individuals and groups. Moreover, health status will be considered (3) along a continuum ranging from individuals to larger aggregates and populations, and in relation to (4) micro-level, local settings (e.g., homes, offices, neighborhoods) as well as larger-scale and more distant environments (e.g., geographically and politically bounded regions). Finally, (5) the temporal dimensions of environmental health will be examined, with particular emphasis on the stability or instability of healthful conditions within a setting and those factors that may undermine or ensure the healthfulness of an environment over extended periods. The discussion of these conceptual issues suggests a number of methodological strategies for assessing the healthfulness and overall quality of environments, as well as several guidelines for addressing the political and public policy issues surrounding the conceptualization, design, evaluation, and protection of healthy environments. These issues will be addressed in concluding sections of the paper.

DanieI Stokols (University of California, Irvine)
EDRA22/1991 Proceedings
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Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)

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