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

  • Francisco Lara-ValenciaEmail author
  • Hilda García-Pérez


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.


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


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Authors and Affiliations

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

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