A Model Curriculum for a Course on the Built Environment and Public Health

Although the two groups rarely interact, a growing body of evidence shows that built environment planners and public health professionals impact each other's work. This article examines six selected graduate courses focused on the intersection of public health and the built environment. Researchers examined course syllabi at: Boston University; Emory University/Georgia Institute of Technology; the University of California Berkeley; the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Virginia. The article compares and contrasts course objectives and topics, readings and assignments, logistics and assessments.

Based on the input from these successful courses, the authors present a model curriculum for a course addressing the built environment and public health. The proposed curriculum features four main units followed by a final unit of integration. The units include:

  • Planning and public health foundations
  • Natural and built environments
  • Vulnerable populations and health disparities
  • Health policy and global impacts.