Monday, June 11, 2012

Place, Space, Climate Change, and Public Health

Part of my summer research and writing agenda focuses on tapping back in to my science writing (e.g., WID) roots and affinity.  As such, I have been doing my whole information foraging thing and am discovering a ton of really cool (pun intended) research on climate change and public health.  Among the most notable is Preparing a People: Climate Change and Public Health by Catherine M. Cooney, a very nice intro to climate change intersections in public health that appeared in NIEHS' Environmental Health Perspectives about a year ago.

Given my preoccupation with place and sustainability (for whatever that means now), there is a passage of most noteworthy import for me.  It reads:

Chicago is one of several large cities with climate action plans in place—others include New York City, San Francisco, Sydney, and Mexico City.  Like Chicago’s, these plans promote mitigation and sustainability. Much of the adaptation portion of these initiatives is aimed at the built environment—buildings, highways, and facilities. But officials in these cities are beginning to talk about the public health cobenefits from their action plans, and public health advocates are speaking up and pushing for programs designed to prepare for or prevent climate-sensitive disease and illness.

I am drawn to this excerpt as a sort of crystallization of my current musings on climate change and place.  Throughout the summer and fall I'll try to profile a few of these places, as well as some others that are aiming to address challenges of climate change through infrastructure (i.e., place) and behavior (space).  And, I will also have some commentary on places that seem destined to fail (or at least have a very rocky road ahead) upcoming trip to Atlanta comes to mind.

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