Government and Environmental Health
Disasters, both natural and man-made, can greatly affect human health. Government agencies must work together during a disaster to protect the health and safety of the individuals involved. Fire, rescue, police, hospital staff, public health departments, military, and civil defense all have a role to play. Heat waves, drought, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards are all natural, climatological disasters. Fortunately, technology allows us to predict many of these events, so we can warn citizens and emergency personnel.
Geological disasters such as floods, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions can sometimes be predicted; usually, the only available response is the evacuation of the region. Man-made disasters include forest fires, industrial accidents, and transportation accidents. In 2007, several disasters caught the media’s attention, including the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the collapse of a coal mine in Utah. These tragedies required the response of a large number of trained professionals from various organizations. Another man-made disaster concern is terrorism.
Terrorism is a purposeful disaster carried out to scare or threaten a large group of people. Terrorism includes both domestic and international acts. The state of the environment and its link to human health have gotten a lot of attention in the last few years. Individuals are more aware of how air and water quality, food safety, and disaster preparation are important to maintaining their health and safety. This trend is not just occurring in the United States but throughout the world. The World Health Organization (2014) has instituted healthy cities initiatives that “address a range of key topics: air quality, climate change, and flooding, food safety, housing, noise, transport, urban planning, waste, and water. Each offers information and support to people working at the local level. Other information and support for local government includes guides to planning and pamphlets for local authorities.”
Green architecture and green energy and transportation are becoming more popular, as people understand the benefits of these technologies. Homes of the future will likely:
- Be easier to maintain.
- Be energy efficient with solar or alternative types of heating and cooling.
- Use recycled materials and nonpolluting paint.
- Have heat-efficient windows, low-flow toilets, and a reservoir for rainwater.
More and more cities are seeing the benefits of green areas and greenways for biking, hiking, and recreation. These changes benefit the health of individuals by providing fresh air, a space for exercise, and an option for commuting without a car. Urban planners are looking more at public transportation, energy conservation, waste treatment, and urban forestry. Downtowns are being redeveloped in many areas, and community gardens and recycling centers are growing. The future holds many opportunities for us to improve environmental health. By making wise personal choices, we can improve environmental health for ourselves and those around us.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO). (2014). Healthy cities. Retrieved from http://
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- Competency 1: Assess basic environmental health principles, theories, and issues.
- Define the term environmental health.
- Assess how healthy cities relate to environmental health.
- Analyze obstacles for a city in becoming a healthy city.
- Describe the financial issues involved in creating a healthy city.
- Analyze how environmental health is an individual concern.
- Analyze how environmental health is a global concern.
- Competency 3: Apply personal and professional decisions based upon an understanding of environmental risks.
- Describe how a city could become prepared for disasters.
- Assess benefits of developing a healthy city to one’s self, family, and community.
- Competency 4: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
- Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Please review the assessment instructions and scoring guide. No additional preparation is required.
The purpose of this assessment is to consider aspects of what makes a healthy city and to integrate your research to provide strategies for individuals and communities to improve environmental health.
To begin, suppose you are working with your city planner to develop a healthy city initiative for your city (or a city near you). You are tasked with developing a report that will be presented to your city council.
Craft a 4–5-page written document that could be presented to your city council, addressing the following points:
- What is environmental health?
- Why is creating a healthy city important to environmental health?
- What could your city do to become a healthy city?
- What would be the obstacles to change and why are they obstacles?
- What financial issues would have to be considered?
- How would these changes benefit you, your family, and your community?
- What could your city do to become better prepared for disasters, both natural and human-made?
- Why should environmental health be considered an individual concern? Why should it be considered a global concern?
- What could you or your family do—in your home, your neighborhood, and your workplace—to reduce your personal impact on the environmental health of your city?
Your document should follow a logical structure and be evidence based. Use the APA Paper Template as a resource for formatting and citations.
- Written Communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- Length: The report should be 4–5 pages in content length. Include a separate title page and a separate references page.
- Font and Font Size: Times New Roman, 12-point, double-spaced. Use Microsoft Word.
- APA Formatting: Resources and in-text citations should be formatted according to the current APA style and formatting.
- Number of Resources: You are required to cite a minimum of two scholarly resources. You may conduct independent research for resources and references to support your report. Provide a reference list and in-text citations for all your resources, in APA format. You may cite texts and authors from the Resources.