What can cities do to correct racism and help all communities live longer? It starts with city planning, says researcher
Addressing environmental justice and correcting racial disparities in city planning is essential to improving the health and life expectancy of communities. Researchers have found that a person's ZIP code often predicts their life expectancy better than their genetic code. City planning, including housing policies and zoning codes, plays a crucial role in shaping the health and well-being of residents. Many neighborhoods with concentrated lower-income housing also face higher levels of noise and pollution, leading to poorer health outcomes. Efforts are underway in California to combat these disparities through more inclusive city planning that prioritizes health equity. Some cities have adopted inclusionary zoning policies and a Health in All Policies approach to address inequality and promote environmental justice. However, there is still much work to be done to eliminate racial disparities in city planning and promote healthier, more equitable communities.