Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Revitalizing Communities Together

The Shared Values, Goals, and Work of Education, Urban Planning, and Public Health


Inequities in education, the urban environment, and health co-exist and mutually reinforce each other. Educators, planners, and public health practitioners share commitments to place-based, participatory, youth-focused, and equitable work. They also have shared goals of building community resilience, social capital, and civic engagement. Interdisciplinary programs that embody these shared values and work towards these shared goals are emerging, including school-based health centers, full-service community schools, community health centers, Promise Neighborhoods, and Choice Neighborhoods. The intersection of these three fields represents an opportunity to intervene on social determinants of health. More collaborative research and practice across public health, education, and planning should build from the shared values identified to continue to address these common goals.


City planning Educational status Public health Social change Urban health 


  1. 1.
    Darling-Hammond L. The color line in American education: race, resources, and student achievement. Du Bois Rev Soc Sci Res Race. 2004; 1(2): 213–246.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bullard R, Mohai P, Saha R, Wright B. Toxic wastes and race at twenty: 1987–2007. United Church of Christ. 2007. Available at
  3. 3.
    Friel S, Marmot MG. Action on the social determinants of health and health inequities goes global. Annu Rev Public Health. 2011; 32(1): 225–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Milton B, Whitehead M, Holland P, Hamilton V. The social and economic consequences of childhood asthma across the lifecourse: a systematic review. Child Care Health Dev. 2004; 30(6): 711–728.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clayton S, Chin T, Blackburn S, Echeverria C. Different setting, different care: integrating prevention and clinical care in school-based health centers. Am J Public Health. 2010; 100(9): 1592–1596.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lu M, Halfon N. Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: a life-course perspective. Matern Child Health J. 2003; 7(1): 13–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Morello-Frosch R, Lopez R. The riskscape and the color line: examining the role of segregation in environmental health disparities. Environ Res. 2006; 102(2): 181–196.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Braveman PA, Kumanyika S, Fielding J, et al. Health disparities and health equity: the issue is justice. Am J Public Health. 2011; 101(S1): S149–S155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Currie J. Health disparities and gaps in school readiness. Futur Child. 2005; 15(1): 117–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Low M, Low B, Baumler E, Huynh P. Can education policy be health policy? implications of research on the social determinants of health. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2005; 30(6): 1131–1162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Corburn J. Confronting the challenges in reconnecting urban planning and public health. Am J Publ Health. 2004; 94(4): 541–546.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Corburn J. Toward the healthy city: people, places, and the politics of urban planning. Cambridge: MIT; 2009.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Krieger J, Higgins DL. Housing and health: time again for public health action. Am J Public Health. 2002; 92(5): 758–768.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Northridge ME, Sclar ED, Biswas P. Sorting out the connections between the built environment and health: a conceptual framework for navigating pathways and planning healthy cities. J Urban Health. 2003; 80(4): 556–568.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Northridge M, Freeman L. Urban planning and health equity. J Urban Health. 2011; 88(3): 582–597.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Anyon J. What“counts” as educational policy? notes toward a new paradigm. Harv Educ Rev. 2005; 75(1): 65–88.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Keith N. Can urban school reform and community development be joined? the potential of community schools. Educ Urban Soc. 1996; 28(2): 237–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hodgson K. Comprehensive planning for public health. Washington: American Planning Association; 2011.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Diez-Roux AV. Investigating neighborhood and area effects on health. Am J Public Health. 2001; 91(11): 1783–1789.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Leung MW, Yen IH, Minkler M. Community based participatory research: a promising approach for increasing epidemiology’s relevance in the 21st century. Int J Epidemiol. 2004; 33(3): 499–506.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Alameda County Public Health Department. Life and death from unnatural causes: health and social inequity in Alameda County. (ACPHD, ed.). 2008. Available at
  22. 22.
    Donovan GH, Michael YL, Butry DT, Sullivan AD, Chase JM. Urban trees and the risk of poor birth outcomes. Health Place. 2010. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.11.004.
  23. 23.
    Snelgrove JW, Pikhart H, Stafford M. A multilevel analysis of social capital and self-rated health: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey. Soc Sci Med. 2009; 68(11): 1993–2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Garner C, Raudenbush S. Neighborhood effects on educational attainment: a multilevel analysis. Sociol Educ. 1991; 64(4): 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Corburn J. Street science: community knowledge and environmental health. Cambridge: MIT; 2005.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Freire P. Pedagogy of the oppressed (rev. ed.). New York: Continuum; 1993.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Forester J. The deliberative practitioner: encouraging participatory planning processes. Cambridge: MIT; 1999.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Laverack G. Improving health outcomes through community empowerment: a review of the literature. J Health Popul Nutr. 2006; 24(1): 113–120.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Montoya M, Kent E. Dialogical action: moving from community-based to community-driven participatory research. Qual Health Res. 2011. doi:10.1177/1049732311403500.
  30. 30.
    Minkler M. Using participatory action research to build healthy communities. Public Health Rep. 2000; 115(2–3): 191–197.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Dryfoos J. Full-service community schools: creating new institutions. Phi Delta Kappan. 2002:393–399.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fischler R. Communicative planning theory: a Foucauldian assessment. J Plan Educ Res. 2000; 19(4): 358–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Healey P. Collaborative planning in perspective. Plan Theory. 2003; 2(2): 101–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Elster J. Deliberative democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Israel B, Schulz A, Parker E, Becker AB. Review of community-based research: assessing partnership approaches to improve public health. Annu Rev Public Health. 1998; 19: 173–202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Minkler M, Wallerstein N. Community-based participatory research for health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2008.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Brown P. Popular epidemiology and toxic waste contamination: lay and professional ways of knowing. J Heal Soc Behav. 1992; 33: 267–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Freudenberg N, Rogers M, Ritas C, Nerney M. Policy analysis and advocacy: an approach to community-based participatory research. In: Israel B, Eng E, Schulz A, Parker E, eds. Methods in community-based participatory research for health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2005: 349–370.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kohfeldt D, Chhun L, Grace S, Langhout RD. Youth empowerment in context: exploring tensions in school-based yPAR. Am J Community Psychol. 2010; 47(1–2): 28–45.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ozer EJ, Cantor JP, Cruz GW, et al. The diffusion of youth-led participatory research in urban schools: the role of the prevention support system in implementation and sustainability. Am J Community Psychol. 2008; 41(3–4): 278–289.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fawcett S, Francisco V, Schultz J, et al. The community tool box: a Web-based resource for building healthier communities. Public Health Rep. 2000; 115(2–3): 274–278.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Engle PL, Fernald LC, Alderman H, et al. Strategies for reducing inequalities and improving developmental outcomes for young children in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet. 2011. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60889-1.
  43. 43.
    Frank KI. The potential of youth participation in planning. J Plan Lit. 2006; 20(4): 351–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Checkoway B, Pothukuchi K, Finn J. Youth participation in community planning: what are the benefits? J Plan Educ Res. 1995; 14(2): 134–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Watts RJ, Flanagan C. Pushing the envelope on youth civic engagement: a developmental and liberation psychology perspective. J Community Psychol. 2007; 35(6): 779–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Suleiman AB, Soleimanpour S, London J. Youth action for health through youth-led research. J Community Pract. 2006; 14(1–2): 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Lewis W. Democracy’s high school. New York: Houghton Mifflin; 1914.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Fairchild A, Rosner D, Colgrove J, Bayer R, Fried L. The EXODUS of public health: what history can tell us about the future. Am J Public Health. 2010; 100(1): 54–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Berliner D. Our impoverished view of educational research. Teach Coll Rec. 2006; 108(6): 949–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Mercado S, Havemann K, Sami M, Ueda H. Urban poverty: an urgent public health issue. J Urban Health. 2007; 84(3 Suppl): i7–i15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Morello-Frosch R, Brown P, Lyson M, Cohen A, Krupa K. Community voice, vision, and resilience in post-Hurricane Katrina recovery. Environ Justice. 2011; 4(1): 71–80.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Connor KM. Assessment of resilience in the aftermath of trauma. J Clin Psychiatry. 2006; 67(Suppl 2): 46–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Fonagy P, Steele M, Steele H, Higgitt A, Target M. The Emanuel Miller memorial lecture 1992. The theory and practice of resilience. J Child Psychol Psychiatry Allied Discip. 1994; 35(2): 231–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pickett STA, Cadenasso ML, Grove JM. Resilient cities: meaning, models, and metaphor for integrating the ecological, socio-economic, and planning realms. Landsc Urban Plan. 2004; 69(4): 369–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Godschalk D. Urban hazard mitigation: creating resilient cities. Nat Hazards Rev. 2003; 4(3): 136–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Morgan A, Swann C. In: Morgan A, Swann C, eds. Social capital for health: issues of definition, measurement and links to health. London: NHS Health Development Agency; 2004: 1–200.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Putnam R. Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. J Democr. 1995: 6(1): 65–78.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Putnam R. Community-based social capital and educational performance. In: Ravitch D, Viteritti J, eds. Making good citizens. New Haven: Yale University Press; 2001: 58–95.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Garbus J. Service-learning, 1902. Coll Engl. 2002; 64(5): 547–565.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Kawachi I, Kennedy B. Social capital and self-rated health: a contextual analysis. Am J Public Health. 1999; 89(8): 1187–1193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Kim D, Kawachi I. A multilevel analysis of key forms of community- and individual-level social capital as predictors of self-rated health in the United States. J Urban Health. 2006; 83(5): 813–826.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Pope A, Stolte L, Cohen AK. Closing the civic engagement gap: the potential of action civics. Soc Educ. 2011; 75(5): 267–270.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Westheimer J, Kahne J. Educating the “good” citizen: political choices and pedagogical goals. PS Polit Sci Polit. 2004.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Birnbaum AH, McKoy DL. Y-PLAN: teaches youth why and how to plan. Race Poverty Environ. 2007;14(2): 72–74.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Cohen AK, Waters A, Brown P. Place-based environmental health justice education. A community–university–government–middle-school partnership. Environ Justice. In press.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Platt H. Jane Addams and the Ward Boss revisited: class, politics, and public health in Chicago, 1890–1930. Environ Hist. 2000; 5(2): 194–222.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Speer PW, Jackson CB, Peterson NA. The relationship between social cohesion and empowerment: support and new implications for theory. Health Educ Behav. 2001; 28(6): 716–732.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Elliott E. Developing a civic intelligence: local involvement in HIA. Environ Impact Assess Rev. 2004; 24(2): 231–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Dobbie W, Fryer R Jr. Are high quality schools enough to close the achievement gap? evidence from a social experiment in Harlem. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research; 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Nicholas SW, Jean-Louis B, Ortiz B, et al. Addressing the childhood asthma crisis in Harlem: the Harlem Children’s Zone Asthma Initiative. Am J Public Health. 2005; 95(2): 245–249.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Nicholas S, Hutchinson V, Ortiz B, et al. Reducing childhood asthma through community-based service delivery—New York City, 2001–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2005;54(1):11–14. Available at:
  72. 72.
    Northridge M, Jean-Louis B, Shoemaker K, Nicholas S. Advancing population health in the Harlem Children’s Zone Project. Soc Prev Med. 2002; 47(4): 201–204.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Ward NL. Improving equity and access for low-income and minority youth into institutions of higher education. Urban Educ. 2006; 41(1): 50–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Tough P. Whatever it takes: Geoffrey Canada’s quest to change Harlem and America. New York: Houghton Mifflin; 2008: 310.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Popkin SJ, Katz B, Cunningham MK, et al. A decade of HOPE VI: research findings and policy challenges. Washington: Urban Institute; 2004.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Popkin SJ, Levy DK, Buron L. Has Hope VI transformed residents’ lives? new evidence from the Hope Vi panel study. Hous Stud. 2009; 24(4): 477–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Howell E, Harris LE, Popkin SJ. The health status of HOPE VI public housing residents. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2005; 16(2): 273–285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Keene D, Geronimus A. “Weathering” HOPE VI: the importance of evaluating the population health impact of public housing demolition and displacement. J Urban Health. 2011; 88: 417–435.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Ruel E, Oakley D, Wilson G, Maddox R. Is public housing the cause of poor health or a safety net for the unhealthy poor? J Urban Health. 2010; 87: 827–838.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Schorr LB, English JT. Background, context, and significant issues in neighborhood health center programs. Milbank Memorial Fund Q. 1968; 46(3): 289–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Adashi EY, Geiger HJ, Fine MD. Health care reform and primary care—the growing importance of the community health center. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362(22): 2047–2050.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Rosen G. Public health: then and now. The first neighborhood health center movement—its rise and fall. Am J Public Health. 1971; 61(8): 1620–1637.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Vincent J. Public schools as public infrastructure. J Plan Educ Res. 2006; 25(4): 433–443.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Olivos E. Tensions, contradictions, and resistance: an activist’s reflection of the struggles of Latino parents in the public school system. High Sch J. 2004; 87(4): 25–35.Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    Cohen A. Achieving healthy school siting and planning policies: understanding shared concerns of environmental planners, public health professionals, and educators. New Solutions J Environ Occup Health Policy. 2010; 20(1): 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Kochtitzky C, Frumkin H, Rodriguez R, et al. Urban planning and public health at CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006; 55(Suppl 2): 34–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Forsyth A, Slotterback C, Krizek K. Health impact assessment in planning: development of the design for health HIA tools. Environ Impact Assess Rev. 2010; 30(1); 42–51.Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Vallianatos M, Gottlieb R, Haase MA. Farm-to-school. J Plan Educ Res. 2004; 23(4): 414–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Boarnet M, Anderson C, Day K, McMillan T, Alfonzo M. Evaluation of the California Safe Routes to School legislation: urban form changes and children’s active transportation to school. Am J Prev Med. 2005; 28(2, Suppl 2): 134–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    McNicol S. What makes a joint use library a community library? Librar Trends. 2006; 54(4): 519–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations