Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online.
Linking local sustainability policies to health outcomes: An analysis of the urban sustainability-health nexus, by William L. Swann, Emily Brixey & Wayne Wohler
Sustainable cities are assumed to be healthier, but the relationship between sustainability policies and health outcomes is conspicuously overlooked in the empirical literature. We investigate this association by examining how local greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement, energy, alternative transportation, and land use-building policy activities relate to the prevalence of respiratory and obesity-related illnesses in medium and large U.S. cities. Merging local sustainability survey data with city-level estimates of chronic disease factors, we find that after controlling for key socioeconomic and demographic predictors of health, sustainability activities explain very little variation in the prevalence of such illnesses. However, we find stronger evidence for sustainability activities relating to health in smaller cities in our sample, and for physical activity mediating the relationship between some sustainability activities and obesity rates. We find less evidence that our air quality measures play a mediating role. Implications, data limitations, and avenues for future research are discussed.