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Greening to Promote Urban Health: Strategies for Environmental Health Promotion Interventions

Fleckenstein, Lynn Elizabeth (2006) Greening to Promote Urban Health: Strategies for Environmental Health Promotion Interventions. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Environmental health and chronic disease are among the greatest public health challenges facing America today. A body of literature exists to support the causal relationships of various chemical, biological, physical, and social factors on health outcomes. Effects of these environmental influences on health have been found to include social, economic, psychological, biological, and physical dimensions, all of which are major contributors to the prevalence of chronic disease. In recent years, health promotion efforts have been broadened to encompass more environmentally-focused strategies, such as improving air and water quality, reducing exposures to hazardous materials, and planning land use for the design of healthier communities. While such advocacy efforts are critical for policy changes related to environmental health, these interventions, alone, are not sufficient to combat the deteriorating conditions that threaten human health and quality of life. First, given the public health significance of this problem, a need exists for greater collaboration among professionals in the fields of environmental health, community planning and development, health promotion, as well as other disciplines. Second, effective environmental health promotion requires a socio-ecological approach, which necessitates that the individual, organizational, and community-level influences on the environment be addressed. Finally, interventions that promote environmental health at these levels should be based upon sound social and behavioral theory, rather than relying solely upon the technological approaches to risk management that have predominated in the past. Examination of urban greening interventions illustrates both the benefits and practical challenges of utilizing these methods to promote environmental health. Based upon a review of literature in the field, I explore the strengths and limitations of a community-based intervention in the East End of Pittsburgh. Specifically, I evaluate the theory and processes of this program, entitled MERGE II (Methods to Engage Residents and Grassroots in the Environment II), and conclude by translating evaluation findings into recommendations for future environmental health promotion interventions. These recommendations are intended to engage and inform diverse stakeholders in efforts to promote environmental health, and ultimately, to provide effective strategies for reducing morbidity and mortality related to environmental causes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fleckenstein, Lynn
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKeane, Christopher Rcrkcity@pitt.eduCRKCITY
Committee MemberSwoboda, Aaron
Committee MemberAbatemarco, Diane Jdja17@pitt.eduDJA17
Date: 25 September 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 1 August 2006
Approval Date: 25 September 2006
Submission Date: 3 August 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: city; green space; natural environment; nature
Other ID:, etd-08032006-170827
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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