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Neighborhood and Built Environment

Neighborhood and built environments have health impacts for the people who live there. Aspects of neighborhood environments include walkability, land use mix and urbanity, retail, recreational areas, restaurants, fast food outlets, cultural and education institutions, and pollution, such as from traffic or waste sites. HealthyPeople2020 classifies neighborhood and built environment factors into these four categories:1
  • Access to Healthy Foods
  • Quality of Housing
  • Crime and Violence
  • Environmental Conditions

1. HealthyPeople2020 Social Determinants of Health Overview. Downloaded from on June 19, 2017.
A neighborhood's built environment can have an influence on residents' health. For example,
  • The more grocery stores in close proximity to where people live, the lower their blood pressure and body mass index tended to be. A fast food outlet in close proximity to where people live was linked to higher body mass index.2
  • Neighborhood walkability was associated with physical activity and obesity.3
  • Neighborhood presence of hazardous waste facilities enhanced negative effects of stress.4
  • Neighborhoods with more older homes have a higher risk of childhood lead exposure.

2. A Neighborhood's Built Environment May Have Numerous Effects on Its Residents' Health Examining the interaction between social environment and the health of low-income populations in Oregon. Downloaded from on June 19, 2017.
3. Steffen Andreas Schüle and Gabriele Bolte (2015) Interactive and Independent Associations between the Socioeconomic and Objective Built Environment on the Neighbourhood Level and Individual Health: A Systematic Review of Multilevel Studies. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4): e0123456.Downloaded from on June 19, 2017.
4. Matthews SA, Yang TC (2010) Exploring the role of the built and social neighborhood environment in moderating stress and health. Ann Behav Med. 2010 May;39(2):170-83. Downloaded from on June 19, 2017.

The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Thu, 20 July 2017 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:55:27 MDT