Advertisement

Three Ecologies of the Urban Environment and the Health of Latinx Communities

  • Francisco Lara-ValenciaEmail author
  • Hilda García-Pérez
Chapter

Abstract

In the USA, the Latinx population has been identified as a minority group subject to disproportionate exposure to unhealthy environments. Given that a vast majority of Latinx persons live in highly segregated neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, an understanding of how urban environments affect Latinx persons’ health opportunities is vital for reducing health disparities. In this chapter, we explore some dimensions of the urban environment and explain its relevance to Latinx communities’ health. We provide an overview of the social composition and spatial distribution of the Latinx population. Then, we present a conceptual model describing a general pathway of how the social, built, and natural ecologies of the urban environment influence Latinx communities’ health. We illustrate empirically how these ecologies interact at the neighborhood level to affect Latinx persons’ physical activity. We conclude with a list of actionable policy alternatives that can address urban health problems in Latinx neighborhoods.

Keywords

Latinx populations Residential segregation Environment–health nexus Urban environments Physical activity 

References

  1. Abercrombie, L. C., Sallis, J. F., Conway, T. L., Frank, L. D., Saelens, B. E., & Chapman, J. E. (2008). Income and racial disparities in access to public parks and private recreation facilities. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34, 9–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Acevedo-Garcia, D., Lochner, K. A., Osypuk, T. L., & Subramanian, S. V. (2003). Future directions in residential segregation and health research: A multilevel approach. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 215–221.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Amuedo-Dorantes, C., Puttitanun, T., & Martinez-Donate, A. P. (2013). How do tougher immigration measures affect unauthorized immigrants? Demography, 50, 1067–1091.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, K., & Fullerton, A. (2014). Residential segregation, health, and health care: Answering the Latino question. Race and Social Problems, 6, 262–279.Google Scholar
  5. Angotti, T., & Sze, J. (2009). Environmental justice practice: implications for interdisciplinary urban public health. In N. Freudenberg, S. Klitzman, & S. Saegert (Eds.), Urban health and society: Interdisciplinary approaches to research and practice (pp. 19–42). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Baldacci, S., Maio, S., Cerrai, S., Sarno, G., Baiz, N., Simoni, M., et al. (2015). Allergy and asthma: Effects of the exposure to particulate matter and biological allergens. Respiratory Medicine, 109, 1089–1104.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Basu, R., & Ostro, B. D. (2008). A multicounty analysis identifying the populations vulnerable to mortality associated with high ambient temperature in California. American Journal of Epidemiology, 168, 632–637.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bedimo-Rung, A. L., Mowen, A. J., & Cohen, D. A. (2005). The Significance of Parks to Physical Activity and Public Health: A Conceptual Model. American Journal of Preventive Medicine ,28(2):159–168.Google Scholar
  9. Berko, J., Ingram, D. D., Saha, S., & Parker, J. D. (2014). Deaths attributed to heat, cold, and other weather events in the United States, 2006–2010. In National health statistical reports (p. 15). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  10. Bruton, C. M., & Floyd, M. F. (2014). Disparities in built and natural features of urban parks: Comparisons by neighborhood level race/ethnicity and income. Journal of Urban Health, 91, 894–907.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Byrne, J., & Wolch, J. (2009). Nature, race, and parks: past research and future directions for geographic research. Progress in Human Geography , 33 (6), 743–765.Google Scholar
  12. Carr, P., Lichter, D., & Kafala, M. (2013). Can immigration save small-town America? In Research and policy brief series, issue 53. Ithaca, NY: Community and Regional Development Institute. https://cardi.cals.cornell.edu/sites/cardi.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/ResearchPolicyBriefs/Policy-Brief-April13.pdf.
  13. Casper, J. M., & Harrolle, M. G. (2013). Perceptions of constraints to leisure time physical activity among Latinos in Wake County, North Carolina. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27, 139–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Cohen, D., McKenzie, T., Sehgal, A., Williamson, S., Golinelli, D., & Lurie, N. (2007). Contribution of public parks to physical activity. American Journal of Public Health ,97.Google Scholar
  15. Chiesura, A. (2004). The role of urban parks for the sustainable city. Landscape and Urban Planning, 68(1), 129–138.Google Scholar
  16. Christian, H., Zubrick, S. R., Foster, S., Giles-Corti, B., Bull, F., Wood, L., et al. (2015). The influence of the neighborhood physical environment on early child health and development: A review and call for research. Health & Place, 33, 25–36.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, D. A., Han, B., Nagel, C. J., Harnik, P., McKenzie, T. L., Evenson, K. R., et al. (2016). The First National Study of Neighborhood Parks. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51, 419–426.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Colchero, M. A., Popkin, B. M., Rivera, J. A., & Ng, S. W. (2016). Beverage purchases from stores in Mexico under the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages: Observational study. BMJ, 352.Google Scholar
  19. Corburn, J. (2007). Reconnecting with our roots. Urban Affairs Review, 42, 688–713.Google Scholar
  20. Crespo, C. J. (2000). Encouraging physical activity in minorities: Eliminating disparities by 2010. Physician & Sportsmedicine, 28, 36–51.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Cronan, M. K., Shinew, K. J., Schneider, I., Stanis, S. A. W., & Chavez, D. (2008). Physical activity patterns and preferences among Latinos in different types of public parks. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5, 894–908.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. D’Amato, G. (2002). Environmental urban factors (air pollution and allergens) and the rising trends in allergic respiratory diseases. Allergy, 57(Suppl 72), 30–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. D’Amato, G., Holgate, S. T., Pawankar, R., Ledford, D. K., Cecchi, L., Al-Ahmad, M. … Annesi-Maesano, I. (2015). Meteorological conditions, climate change, new emerging factors, and asthma and related allergic disorders. A statement of the World Allergy Organization. World Allergy Organization Journal, 8, 25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. D’Amato, G., Liccardi, G., D’Amato, M., & Cazzola, M. (2001). The role of outdoor air pollution and climatic changes on the rising trends in respiratory allergy. Respiratory Medicine, 95, 606–611.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Evans, T., Whitehead, M., & Diderichsen, F. (2001). The social basis of disparities in health. In T. Evans, M. Whitehead, F. Diderichsen, A. Bhuiya, & M. Wirth (Eds.), Challenging inequities in health: From ethics to action (pp. 13–23). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Fitzpatrick, K., & LaGory, M. (2011). Unhealthy cities: Poverty, race, and place in America. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Forsyth, A., Wall, M., Choo, T., Larson, N., Van Riper, D., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2015). Perceived and police-reported neighborhood crime: Linkages to adolescent activity behaviors and weight status. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57, 222–228.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Galea, S., Freudenberg, N., & Vlahov, D. (2005). Cities and population health. Social Science & Medicine, 60(5), 1017–1033.Google Scholar
  29. Garcia, J. (2014). Does living in Latino neighborhoods affect risk for obesity? Findings from a study of social capital and parks availability in Los Angeles neighborhoods (Unpublished dissertation). Los Angeles, CA: University of California.Google Scholar
  30. García, J. J., Gee, G. C., & Jones, M. (2016). A critical race theory analysis of public park features in Latino immigrant neighborhoods. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 13, 397–411.Google Scholar
  31. Giles-Corti, B., Broomhall, M. H., Knuiman, M., Collins, C., Douglas, K., Ng, K., Lange, A., & Donovan, R. J. (2005). Increasing walking: How important is distance to, atractivennes and size of public open space?. America Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(2):169–176.Google Scholar
  32. Jenkins, G., Yuen, H., Rose, E., Maher, A., Gregory, K., & Cotton, M. (2015). Disparities in quality of park play spaces between two cities with diverse income and race/ethnicity composition: A pilot study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 8009.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Johnson Gaither, C. (2011). Latino park access: Examining environmental equity in a “New Destination” county in the South. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 29(4), 37–52.Google Scholar
  34. Jones, A. P., Brainard, J., Bateman, I. J., & Lovett, A. A. (2009). Equity of access to public parks in Birmingham, England. Environmental Research Journal, 3, 237–256.Google Scholar
  35. Kaczynski, A. T., & Henderson, K. A. (2007). Environmental correlates of physical activity: A review of evidence about parks and recreation. Leisure Sciences, 29.Google Scholar
  36. Kaźmierczak, A. (2013). The contribution of local parks to neighbourhood social ties. Landscape and Urban Planning, 109, 31–44.Google Scholar
  37. Klitzman, S., Matte, T., & Kass, D. (2006). The urban physical environment and its effects on health. In N. Freudenberg, S. Galea, & D. Vlahov (Eds.), Cities and the health of the public (pp. 61–84). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Kozlowski, J. C. (2008). Equity in Latino neighborhood parks. Parks and Recreation, 43, 26–28.Google Scholar
  39. Kramer, M. R., & Hogue, C. R. (2009). Is segregation bad for your health? Epidemiologic Reviews, 31, 178–194.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Lara-Valencia, F., & Garcia-Perez, H. (2018). Disparities in the provision of public parks in neighbourhoods with varied Latino composition in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Local Environment, 23(12), 1107–1120.Google Scholar
  41. Lawrence, R. J. (2004). Housing and health: From interdisciplinary principles to transdisciplinary research and practice. Futures, 36, 487–502.Google Scholar
  42. Levell, P., O’Connell, M., & Smith, K. (2016). Sugary drinks tax: Response from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The Lancet, 387, 1907–1908. Google Scholar
  43. Li, K., Wen, M., & Henry, K. A. (2017). Ethnic density, immigrant enclaves, and Latino health risks: A propensity score matching approach. Social Science and Medicine, 189, 44–52.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Lin, A. R., Menjívar, C., Ettekal, A. V., Simpkins, S. D., Gaskin, E. R., & Pesch, A. (2016). “They will post a law about playing soccer” and other ethnic/racial microaggressions in organized activities experienced by Mexican-origin families. Journal of Adolescent Research, 31, 557–581.Google Scholar
  45. Lindsay, A. C., Sussner, K. M., Greaney, M. L., & Peterson, K. E. (2009). Influence of social context on eating, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors of Latina mothers and their preschool-age children. Health Education & Behavior, 36, 81–96.Google Scholar
  46. Logan, J. R. (2011). Separate and unequal: The neighborhood gap for blacks, Hispanics and Asians in metropolitan America. Project US2010. https://s4.ad.brown.edu/Projects/Diversity/Data/Report/report0727.pdf.
  47. Lopez, R. P., & Hynes, H. P. (2009). Obesity, physical activity and the urban environment: Public health research needs. In H. P. Hynes & R. P. Lopez (Eds.), Urban health: Readings in social, built, and physical environments of U.S. cities (pp. 169–181). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.Google Scholar
  48. Loukaitou-Sideris, A. (1995). Urban Form and Social Context: Cultural Differentiation in the Uses of Urban Parks. Journal of Planning Education and Research 14(2), 89–102.Google Scholar
  49. Markevych, I., Schoierer, J., Hartig, T., Chudnovsky, A., Hystad, P., Dzhambov, A. M. … Fuertes, E. (2017). Exploring pathways linking greenspace to health: Theoretical and methodological guidance. Environmental Research, 158, 301–317.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Maas, J., Verheij, R., Groenewegen, P., De Vries, S., & Spreeuwenberg, P. (2006). Green space, urbanity, and health: How strong is the relation?. Journal of Epidemiol and Community Health, 60(7), 587–592.Google Scholar
  51. Maas, J., Verheij, R., Spreeuwenberg, P., & Groenewegen, P. (2008). Physical activity as a possible mechanism behind the relationship between green space and health: A multilevel analysis. BMC Public Health, 8Google Scholar
  52. Morello-Frosch, R., & Jesdale, B. M. (2006). Separate and unequal: Residential segregation and estimated cancer risks associated with ambient air toxics in U.S. metropolitan areas. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114, 386–393.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Nagel, C. L., Carlson N. E., Bosworth, M., & Michael, Y. L. (2008). The Relation between Neighborhood Built Environment and Walking Activity among Older Adults. American Journal of Epidemiology, 168(4), 461–468.Google Scholar
  54. National Center for Health Statistics. (2017). Health, United States, 2016: With chartbook on long-term trends in health. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  55. Northridge, M. E., Sclar, E. D., & Biswas, P. (2003). Sorting out the connections between the built environment and health: A conceptual framework for navigating pathways and planning healthy cities. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 80, 556–568.Google Scholar
  56. Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., & Flegal, K. M. (2015). Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2011–2014. In NCHS data brief (p. 8). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  57. Onésimo Sandoval, J. S., & Jennings, J. (2012). Barrios and hyper barrios: How Latino neighborhoods changed the urban built environment. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 5, 111–138.Google Scholar
  58. Pastor, M., Morello-Frosch, R., & Sadd, J. L. (2005). The air is always cleaner on the other side: Race, space, and ambient air toxics exposures in California. Journal of Urban Affairs, 27, 127–148.Google Scholar
  59. Pincetl, S., Wolch, J., Wilson, J., & Longcore, T. (2003). Toward a sustainable Los Angeles: A “nature’s services” approach. Los Angeles, CA: Center for Sustainable Cities, University of Southern California.Google Scholar
  60. Powell, K. E., & Blair, S. N. (1994). The public health burdens of sedentary living habits: Theoretical but realistic estimates. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26, 851–856.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Public Polity Institute of California. (2007). Latino attitudes and the environment. In Just the facts: San Francisco: Public Polity Institute of California. http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_LatinoAttitudesEnvironmentJTF.pdf.
  62. Sallis, J. F., Bull, F., Burdett, R., Frank, L. D., Griffiths, P., Giles-Corti, B., et al. (2016). Use of science to guide city planning policy and practice: How to achieve healthy and sustainable future cities. Lancet, 388, 2936–2947.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Schulz, A., & Northridge, M. E. (2004). Social determinants of health: Implications for environmental health promotion. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 455–471.Google Scholar
  64. Schulz, A. J., Williams, D. R., Israel, B. A., & Lempert, L. B. (2002). Racial and spatial relations as fundamental determinants of health in Detroit. Milbank Quarterly, 80, 677–707.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Sister, C., Wolch, J., & Wilson, J. (2010). Got green? Addressing environmental justice in park provision. GeoJournal, 75, 229–248.Google Scholar
  66. Stepler, R., & Lopez, M. H. (2016). U.S. Latino population growth and dispersion has slowed since onset of the Great Recession (p. 53). Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/09/08/latino-population-growth-and-dispersion-has-slowed-since-the-onset-of-the-great-recession/.
  67. Stodolska, M. (2015). Recreation for all: Providing leisure and recreation services in multi-ethnic communities. World Leisure Journal, 57, 89–103.Google Scholar
  68. Suminski, R. R., Connolly, E. K., May, L. E., Wasserman, J., Olvera, N., & Lee, R. E. (2012). Park quality in racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods. Environmental Justice, 5, 271–278.Google Scholar
  69. Suro, R., & Singer, A. (2002). Latino growth in metropolitan America: Changing patterns, new locations. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, and Pew Hispanic Center.Google Scholar
  70. Talen, E. (1997). The social equity of urban service distribution an exploration of park access in Pueblo, Colorado, and Macon, Georgia. Urban Geography, 18, 521–541.Google Scholar
  71. Tienda, M., & Fuentes, N. (2014). Hispanics in metropolitan America: New realities and old debates. Annual Review of Sociology, 40, 499.Google Scholar
  72. Timperio, A., Crawford, D., Ball, K., & Salmon, J. (2017). Typologies of neighbourhood environments and children’s physical activity, sedentary time and television viewing. Health & Place, 43, 121–127.Google Scholar
  73. Timperio, A., Crawford, D., Telford, A., & Salmon, J. (2004). Perceptions about the local neighborhood and walking and cycling among children. Preventive Medicine, 38, 39–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. U.S. Census. (2015). 2011–2015 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. U.S. Census Bureau: Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  75. U.S. Surgeon General. (1999). Physical activity and health: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta. GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
  76. Varsanyi, M. (2010). Taking local control: Immigration policy activism in U.S. cities and states. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Vaughan, K. B., Kaczynski, A. T., Wilhelm Stanis, S. A., Besenyi, G. M., Bergstrom, R., & Heinrich, K. M. (2013). Exploring the distribution of park availability, features, and quality across Kansas City, Missouri by income and race/ethnicity: An environmental justice investigation. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(Suppl 1), S28–S38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Wolch, J., Wilson, J. P., & Fehrenbach, J. (2005). Parks and park funding in Los Angeles: An equity-mapping analysis. Urban Geography, 26, 4–35.Google Scholar
  79. Wolch, J., Byrne, J., & Newell, J. (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’. Landscape and Urban Planning, 125, 234–244.Google Scholar
  80. Wood, L., Hooper, P., Foster, S., & Bull, F. (2017). Public green spaces and positive mental health—Investigating the relationship between access, quantity and types of parks and mental wellbeing. Health & Place, 48, 63–71.Google Scholar
  81. Woolf, S. H., & Aron, L. (2013). U.S. health in international perspective: Shorter lives, poorer health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  82. Zenk, S. N., Schulz, A. J., Odoms-Young, A. M., & Lockett, M. (2009). Interdisciplinary, participatory research on urban food environments and dietary behavior. In N. Freudenberg, S. Klitzman, & S. Saegert (Eds.), Urban health and society: Interdisciplinary approaches to research and practice (pp. 45–61). San Francico: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Transborder StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Population StudiesEl Colegio de la Frontera NorteNogalesMéxico

Personalised recommendations