1. Begin by asking students what it means for a city
to be a ‘healthy city’? How would you define
a healthy city? Write their suggestions on the board
so that you can connect what they know to the World Health
Organization’s criteria that will be addressed
shortly. You may also wish to have the students respond
to this question in their notebooks so that you can use
it as a pre-assessment.
Explain to the students that the problems of urban sprawl
and the health effects it
has on its residents,
due to air pollution, can be managed by city governments,
planners, and its’ citizens.
Today, some cities in the United States are attempting
to become healthy cities. The World Health Organization
(WHO) has developed a criterion that states a healthy
city must have the following:
clean and safe environment
b. meets the basic needs of all its inhabitants
c. involves the community local government and provides
accessible health services.
the example of New York at the end of the nineteenth-century.
City was one of the
few cities that tried
to cope with its growing population by recognizing
urban planning. It planned in the form of an infrastructure
that worked in a unified system. In a unified system
the quality of life is controlled by the city’s
ability to anticipate needs, envision a plan, and
cope with change. In the twenty-first century,
are questioning how to balance economic growth
with the health considerations of large metropolitan
biggest question cities try to plan is how to shelter
and sustain their residents without destroying
the balance of their environment.
Divide the class into groups of two. Each group
will be given two cities to analyze how they
have worked to
improve human health issues. Some of the cities
have been more aggressive in this by creating
sustainable communities. Each group will pick two cities
the following, only one may be a US city:
Ithaca, New York
b. Toronto, Canada
c. San Francisco, California
d. Bogotá, Colombia
e. Portland, Oregon
f. Shanghai, China
individual will answer the following questions about
their city in their notebooks:
a. Define a sustainable community.
Explain the characteristics of the city’s economy.
Do jobs provide good wages?
ii. Are the city’s businesses stable?
iii. Do they have the appropriate technology
iv. How do the businesses they have refrain
from contributing to air pollution?
v. What type of education and skills are
needed to work in those jobs?
Explain how the city plans for environmental health.
How does it work toward reducing and/or eliminating
pollution in water, air,
ii. How does it protect its natural open
spaces and its wildlife and ecosystem?
iii. How does it minimize its’ heavy use of chemicals?
iv. What type of sewage treatment does
the city have?
v. How does it create space for people
to walk, ride their bikes, or use mass
vi. Explain how their homes, jobs,
and shopping are in close proximity.
Explain how the community addresses its social issues.
How does it work to reduce crime?
ii. How does it make housing affordable
iii. How are the citizens educated
to meet the skills needed to work
iv. How does the community address
issues of equity among citizens?
v. How does it build a sense of
community and spirituality?
of these questions may be more difficult to answer for
4. Ask students to reconvene.
On a large piece of construction
group to present
what they found out about the
cities. Have the group
a T-sheet (one for the group) with one side labeled “similarities” and
the other labeled “differences” on the poster. The poster should
also include a map of where the city is located and some general details about
Day 3 continued
5. Ask the groups to look at their notes and discuss
if the cities they studied meet the requirements of
the World Health Organization.
Display all the posters for the students to review. Allow
time for students
to peruse the posters and take
notes; then as a class have the students discuss
what they think are particularly effective approaches
Have students write a paragraph addressing each city
they studied. Based on students’ explorations
and what they have read at other posters, what might
they suggest as a next step toward a sustainable
and healthy city? What is their reasoning for this choice?
Students’ responses to the first question can act
as a pre-assessment.
Students’ notes, posters
and t-sheets provide opportunities to assess their
ability to identify World
Health Organization criteria
The discussion and concluding paragraph will allow assessment
of an individual’s
ability to gather and analyze information about the interplay
cultural and economic geography and the ability to
interpret the present and plan for the future.