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A case study of urban trees, public health and social equity


Bentley, M, A case study of urban trees, public health and social equity, Health of People, Places and Planet: reflections based on Tony McMichael's four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding, ANU Press, CD Butler, J Dixon and AG Capon (ed), ACT, Australia, pp. 493-509. ISBN 9781925022407 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2015 ANU Press

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Research demonstrates positive associations between urban greenness and human health; yet, the underlying causal mechanisms are less well understood. Moreover, urban greenness is distributed inequitably. This chapter describes a case study that explores some of the ways in which the quality and quantity of urban trees (as an aspect of urban greenness) relate to public health and social equity in a southern Australian context. The research used a theoretically informed, ecological public health model derived from four foundational principles of ecological public health conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility to reveal a set of ecohealth-promoting mechanisms linking urban greenness to public health and social equity. Ecohealth in urban areas is created and lived by its human and non-human inhabitants within the convivial settings of their everyday life. While social determinants shape the health of people, the socio-natural processes of urban environmental metabolism shape urban development and the quality and distribution of trees as an urban forest. As urban trees can affect health and well-being positively, their uneven distribution is inequitable. Further case studies are needed to understand how urban trees relate to environmental and social determinants of health in different urban contexts.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:ecological public health, social equity, urban studies
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bentley, M (Dr Michael Bentley)
ID Code:102489
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-08-25
Last Modified:2017-11-04

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