To help prevent health crises before they happen, we need forward-looking science that both anticipates problems and offers solutions, especially in a world that is urbanizing quickly. Factors such as overcrowding, air pollution, noise, and a lack of access to nature contribute to the emotional and physical stress of urban life. As cities continue to grow, we need to design our buildings, neighborhoods, and commons to promote human health.
We face enormous challenges in creating cleaner and more efficient ways to build systems that keep our cities running—such as housing, energy, and transportation—while also creating the conditions that ensure residents’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
The Center’s Healthy Cities program combines rigorous academic research with innovative tools to help create sustainable built environments that positively impact the health of urban residents.
What better backdrop for discussing healthy urban sustainability than a mega-city of 24 million, where the pace of urban growth and change has visibly and measurably impacted human and environmental health? Suitably, Shanghai, China served as the host city for the Center for Health and the Global Environment’s (CHGE) May 17-18, 2016 symposium on “Building Leadership for Healthy Urban Sustainability,” held at the Harvard Center Shanghai, with sponsorship from the Harvard China Fund.... Read more about Healthy Urban Sustainability Symposium in Shanghai
Green buildings are a central piece of the transition toward sustainable cities, and they have contributed significantly to protecting the environment through energy saving measures, water conservation, and material use. Less often considered is the impact that green building practices have on the well-being of occupants.... Read more about Cognitive Effects of Green Buildings (CogFx)
Actions to reduce greenhouse gases have, in part, been difficult to realize because of the long time—on the order of decades or even centuries—that transpires between emissions and their impacts. As a result of this time gap, other more immediate needs tend to push needs to mitigate climate change aside.... Read more about Health Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
With growing pressure to reduce harmful air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, natural gas has emerged as a potentially attractive alternative to coal. As our reliance on natural gas has grown, so too has attention to what its use will mean for the environment and human health.... Read more about Natural Gas Infrastructure
This class will cover basic principles of high performance building design, construction and operation, and impacts on indoor environmental quality, including chemical exposures, light, noise and thermal comfort.
This course demonstrates how intentional design, planning, and leadership within the built environment sector can contribute to urban resiliency by creating efficiencies, incorporating ecological services, and enhancing human health.