THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND CHILDHOOD ASTHMA


Aydın N., Severcan Y. C.

18th World Clean Air Congress, İstanbul, Turkey, 23 - 27 September 2019, pp.95-96

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.95-96

Abstract

The rise in asthma among children is a matter of worldwide concern. The reasons include not only genetic but also physical environmental factors such as building density, landuse, street layout, building setbacks and traffic volume. According to a report released by World Health Organization (WHO) on 2002, approximately 25.000 annual childhood deaths are due to the asthma. Studies conducted in different parts of the globe show that asthma prevalence increased over the years. Compared to all other age groups, children are more likely to suffer from asthma. The lung and immune system are rapidly developing during the first few years of life, causing young people to be more sensitive to the effects of air pollution. There are a growing number of studies on the relationship between childhood asthma and built environment. However, most of the studies have approached the topic from a public health perspective. This study focuses on the relationship from an urban planning and design perspective. Acknowledging the fact that childhood asthma is linked to complex mechanisms of interactions between various physical environmental and nonphysical environmental factors and other health problems, this study questions the role of different built environmental factors like neighbourhood location, urban form and transportation in promoting childhood asthma. Understanding these factors will guide urban planners and designers in the production of places that promote health. This study draws connections between the children’s geographies, urban planning and health literature on physical environmental factors that may promote childhood asthma and the theory, research and practice of healthy city development. Literature across urban planning and health disciplines is examined to develop a framework for understanding the factors that may promote childhood asthma. With this knowledge, the intention is to develop a model that integrates multiple environmental domains to assess the impact of different neighbourhood environments on childhood asthma.