DOI: 10.1542/peds.2023-064772 ISSN: 0031-4005

The Built Environment and Pediatric Health

Aparna Bole, Aaron Bernstein, Michelle J. White, Aparna Bole, Sophie J. Balk, Lori G. Byron, Gredia Maria Huerta-Montañez, Philip J. Landrigan, Steven M. Marcus, Abby L. Nerlinger, Lisa H. Patel, Rebecca Philipsborn, Alan D. Woolf, Lauren Zajac, Kimberly A. Gray, Jeanne Briskin, Nathaniel G. DeNicola, Matt Karwowski, Mary H. Ward, Paul Spire, Nia Heard Garris, Kimberly Brown, Nathan Chomilo, Nathaniel Jones, Patricia Rodriguez, Valencia Walker, Ngozi Onyema-Melton, ,
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Buildings, parks, and roads are all elements of the “built environment,” which can be described as the human-made structures that comprise the neighborhoods and communities where people live, work, learn, and recreate ( The design of communities where children and adolescents live, learn, and play has a profound impact on their health. Moreover, the policies and practices that determine community design and the built environment are a root cause of disparities in the social determinants of health that contribute to health inequity. An understanding of the links between the built environment and pediatric health will help to inform pediatricians’ and other pediatric health care professionals’ care for patients and advocacy on their behalf. This policy statement outlines community design solutions that can improve pediatric physical and mental health, and improve health equity. It describes opportunities for pediatricians and the health care sector to incorporate this knowledge in patient care, as well as to play a role in advancing a health-promoting built environment for all children and families. The accompanying technical report reviews the range of pediatric physical and mental health conditions influenced by the built environment, as well as historical and persistent effects of the built environment on health disparities.

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