Yesterday I attended the launch of a report by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland on Health Impacts of the Built Environment. The launch included a presentation by Richard Jackson, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. The main lesson I took from it for application to my work as a councillor is the importance of walkable neighbourhoods for health. Creating car-dependent communities has a severe impact on public health. Medical treatment (at great cost, whether public or private) will not undo this impact. We as councillors have a particular responsibility to ensure that our communities are walkable.
These considerations unfortunately did not influence the Council’s decision later on in yesterday in relation to access in Baldoyle.
The review is at http://www.publichealth.ie/index.asp?locID=489&docID=649
Richard Jackson’s presentation should be going up on www.publichealth.ie very soon.