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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911366

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 epidemic has emerged as one of the biggest challenges, and the world is focused on preventing and controlling COVID-19. Although there is still insufficient understanding of how environmental conditions may impact the COVID-19 pandemic, airborne transmission is regarded as an important environmental factor that influences the spread of COVID-19. The natural ventilation potential (NVP) is critical for airborne infection control in the micro-built environment, where infectious and susceptible people share air spaces. Taking Wuhan as the research area, we evaluated the NVP in residential areas to combat COVID-19 during the outbreak. We determined four fundamental residential area layouts (point layout, parallel layout, center-around layout, and mixed layout) based on the semantic similarity model for point of interest (POI) picking. Our analyses indicated that the center-around and point layout had a higher NVP, while the mixed and parallel layouts had a lower NVP in winter and spring. Further analysis showed that the proportion of the worst NVP has been rising, while the proportion of the poor NVP remains very high in Wuhan. This study suggested the need to efficiently improve the residential area layout in Wuhan for better urban ventilation to combat COVID-19 without losing other benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Built Environment , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7395, 2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900635

ABSTRACT

The indoor environment is the primary location for the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), largely driven by respiratory particle accumulation in the air and increased connectivity between the individuals occupying indoor spaces. In this study, we aimed to track a cohort of subjects as they occupied a COVID-19 isolation dormitory to better understand the impact of subject and environmental viral load over time, symptoms, and room ventilation on the detectable viral load within a single room. We find that subject samples demonstrate a decrease in overall viral load over time, symptoms significantly impact environmental viral load, and we provide the first real-world evidence for decreased aerosol SARS-CoV-2 load with increasing ventilation, both from mechanical and window sources. These results may guide environmental viral surveillance strategies and be used to better control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within built environments and better protect those caring for individuals with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aerosols , Built Environment , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 8732, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873543

Subject(s)
Built Environment
4.
Front Public Health ; 10: 898136, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862698

ABSTRACT

As a significant part of outdoor built-environment, public open spaces are closely associated with people's daily lives. Studies of outdoor behavior in these spaces can shed light on users' environmental perceptions and contribute to the promotion of physiological and psychological health. Many recent studies are case studies focused where observations, surveys and interviews have been conducted to understand the factors influencing people's behavior on one or few sites or city environments. There have been few reviews related to this topic, and none have been based on the systematic understanding of influencing factors. This paper presents a systematic review of interactions between behavior and the built environment in public open spaces, and highlights the impacts of diverse and objective influencing factors. Followed the rules of PRISMA method (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), 109 papers published in 2000-2021 were selected and reviewed. The distribution of the studied interactions is analyzed, and the impacts of four distinct factors: personal background, location and context, environmental component, and climate stimuli, are extracted, categorized, and specified. Moreover, outdoor health benefits are discussed based on which, crucial factors that require emphasis after the outbreak of COVID-19 are identified. Throughout this paper, behavioral influencing processes, including objective influencing factors, subjective feedback, and the relationships involved, are considered to provide a comprehensive picture. With the robust classification of existing factors, architects, urban designers, policy makers and fellow researches could be easier to get a more comprehensive trend from the past. This paper also provides guidance for future research, especially given that COVID-19 has created huge changes to outdoor needs and customary behavior. Systematic Review Registration: http://www.prisma-statement.org/.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , Social Behavior , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health
5.
Front Public Health ; 10: 883177, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847243

ABSTRACT

The lack of physical activity has become a rigorous challenge for many countries, and the relationship between physical activity and the built environment has become a hot research topic in recent decades. This study uses the Strava Heatmap (novel crowdsourced data) to extract the distribution of cycling and running tracks in central Chengdu in December 2021 (during the COVID-19 pandemic) and develops spatial regression models for numerous 500 × 500 m grids (N = 2,788) to assess the impacts of the built environment on the cycling and running intensity indices. The findings are summarized as follows. First, land-use mix has insignificant effects on the physical activity of residents, which largely contrasts with the evidence gathered from previous studies. Second, road density, water area, green space area, number of stadiums, and number of enterprises significantly facilitate cycling and running. Third, river line length and the light index have positive associations with running but not with cycling. Fourth, housing price is positively correlated with cycling and running. Fifth, schools seem to discourage these two types of physical activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides practical implications (e.g., green space planning and public space management) for urban planners, practitioners, and policymakers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Crowdsourcing , Built Environment , COVID-19/epidemiology , China , Environment Design , Exercise , Humans , Pandemics
6.
Front Public Health ; 10: 861836, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776094

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Health deterioration among frail older adults is a public health concern. Among the multi-dimensional factors, the neighborhood built environment is crucial for one's health. Although the relationship between the built environment and health in the general population has been thoroughly investigated, it has been ignored in the case of frail older adults, who may have difficulties in their daily basic living skills. A path analysis is constructed to model the proposed theoretical framework involving the neighborhood built environment and health among frail older adults. This study thus aims to investigate the environmental influences on health, and to validate the theoretical framework proposed for health and social services. Methods: This study used secondary data collected in Hong Kong. A sample of 969 older community dwellers aged 60 or above were frail with at least one activity of daily living. Demographic information, neighborhood built environment data, service utilization, and health conditions were collected from these participants and their caregivers. A path analysis was performed to examine the proposed theoretical framework. Results: The health condition was of general concern, including frailty and incapacities in daily activities in frail older adults. Besides psychosocial factors, service use, and caregivers' care quality, the built environment had a significant impact on the health of older adults as well. Specifically, more facilities offering services and groceries, a shorter distance to the nearest metro station, and more greenery exposure are associated with a better-expected health condition among frail older adults. Discussion: The proposed theoretical framework successfully supplements past negligence on the relationship between the built environment and the health of frail older adults. The findings further imply that policymakers should promote the usability of transit and greenery in neighborhoods and communities. In addition, service utilization should be improved to meet the basic needs of frail older adults in the communities.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , Health Status , Public Health , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hong Kong , Humans , Middle Aged
7.
Front Public Health ; 10: 861072, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776093

ABSTRACT

Rural communities have become a hot topic in academic circles because of their graceful natural environment and great healing potential. However, existing research still lacks attention to the street space in rural communities and rarely considers its integrated visual and soundscape design in terms of their effect on public health. As a result, the healing potential of rural community streets cannot be fully used in design practice. Relevant audiovisual materials were collected from a field investigation in four rural communities in southwestern China. Based on these data, the subjective and objective healing index data of subjects under comprehensive audiovisual conditions were collected and analyzed through laboratory experiments. The results revealed that type of street space affects healing potential, and the artificial-natural enclosed and natural semi-enclosed streets are the street types with the best healing effect. When the total sound pressure level was 55dB(A), the sound combination with birdsong accounting for 70% had a significant positive effect on improving the healing effect of rural community streets. In contrast, the sound combination with birdsong accounting for 50% or less had no significant effect on improving healing. The subjective healing perception of street space in rural communities was significantly positively correlated with aesthetic preferences. There was also a significant correlation between subjective healing perception and physiological index data in the audiovisual combination. This research explored the impact of different types of street space and sound combinations on the healing effect of rural community streets in an integrated audiovisual environment and provided a scientific basis for the healing landscape design of rural community streets in an integrated audiovisual environment. It was expected to provide new ideas for the construction of rural community landscapes, including acoustic landscapes, to promote physical and mental healing.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , Rural Population , China , Humans
8.
Front Public Health ; 10: 853292, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776074

ABSTRACT

There is still a scarcity of literature on the specific mechanisms of the linkage between the built environment and obesity. As a result, this study investigated whether and how physical activities mediate the associations between the objective built environment and the BMI of elderly people. To investigate the effect of the duration and intensity of physical activity on the effect of the built environment, the study made use of the bootstrap method. In general, we discovered that physical activity duration has a huge mediating effect on the elderly people in Shanghai, especially with respect to the density and accessibility of facilities (gyms, parks, fast-food restaurants) that can greatly stimulate physical activity in elderly people to reduce their BMI. There were both direct and indirect effects on their BMI, which means that the health benefits of green spaces for older people may be more complicated than first thought.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , Exercise , Obesity , Residence Characteristics , Aged , Body Mass Index , China/epidemiology , Humans , Obesity/epidemiology
9.
Environ Health Perspect ; 129(7): 75001, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the dawn of cities, the built environment has both affected infectious disease transmission and evolved in response to infectious diseases. COVID-19 illustrates both dynamics. The pandemic presented an opportunity to implement health promotion and disease prevention strategies in numerous elements of the built environment. OBJECTIVES: This commentary aims to identify features of the built environment that affect the risk of COVID-19 as well as to identify elements of the pandemic response with implications for the built environment (and, therefore, for long-term public health). DISCUSSION: Built environment risk factors for COVID-19 transmission include crowding, poverty, and racism (as they manifest in housing and neighborhood features), poor indoor air circulation, and ambient air pollution. Potential long-term implications of COVID-19 for the built environment include changes in building design, increased teleworking, reconfigured streets, changing modes of travel, provision of parks and greenspace, and population shifts out of urban centers. Although it is too early to predict with confidence which of these responses may persist, identifying and monitoring them can help health professionals, architects, urban planners, and decision makers, as well as members of the public, optimize healthy built environments during and after recovery from the pandemic. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP8888.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Public Health , Cities , Environment Design , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470869

ABSTRACT

At present, a smart city from the perspective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasizes the importance of providing citizens with promising health and well-being. However, with the continuous impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the increase of city population, the health of citizens is facing new challenges. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the relationship between building, environment, landscape design, art therapy (AT), and therapeutic design (TD) in promoting health within the context of sustainable development. It also summarizes the existing applied research areas and potential value of TD that informs future research. This paper adopts the macro-quantitative and micro-qualitative research methods of bibliometric analysis. The results show that: the built environment and AT are related to sustainable development, and closely associated with health and well-being; the application of TD in the environment, architecture, space, and landscape fields promotes the realization of SDGs and lays the foundation for integrating digital technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) into the design process to potentially solve the challenges of TD; and the principle of TD can consider design elements and characteristics from based on people's health needs to better promote human health and well-being.


Subject(s)
Art Therapy , COVID-19 , Built Environment , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sustainable Development
11.
Health Place ; 72: 102694, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458642

ABSTRACT

Previous studies observed that most COVID-19 infections were transmitted by a few individuals at a few high-risk places (e.g., bars or social gathering venues). These individuals, often called superspreaders, transmit the virus to an unexpectedly large number of people. Further, a small number of superspreading places (SSPs) where this occurred account for a large number of COVID-19 transmissions. In this study, we propose a spatial network framework for identifying the SSPs that disproportionately spread COVID-19. Using individual-level activity data of the confirmed cases in Hong Kong, we first identify the high-risk places in the first four COVID-19 waves using the space-time kernel density method (STKDE). Then, we identify the SSPs among these high-risk places by constructing spatial networks that integrate the flow intensity of the confirmed cases. We also examine what built-environment and socio-demographic features would make a high-risk place to more likely become an SSP in different waves of COVID-19 by using regression models. The results indicate that some places had very high transmission risk and suffered from repeated COVID-19 outbreaks over the four waves, and some of these high-risk places were SSPs where most (about 80%) of the COVID-19 transmission occurred due to their intense spatial interactions with other places. Further, we find that high-risk places with dense urban renewal buildings and high median monthly household rent-to-income ratio have higher odds of being SSPs. The results also imply that the associations between built-environment and socio-demographic features with the high-risk places and SSPs are dynamic over time. The implications for better policymaking during the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Built Environment , Demography , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Environ Health Perspect ; 129(9): 98002, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406744
13.
Environ Health Perspect ; 129(9): 98001, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406743
14.
Health Place ; 71: 102659, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397344

ABSTRACT

Most of the existing literature concerning the links between built environment and COVID-19 outcomes is based on aggregate spatial data averaged across entire cities or counties. We present neighborhood level results linking census tract-level built environment and active/sedentary travel measures with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality rates in King County Washington. Substantial variations in COVID-19 outcomes and built environment features existed across neighborhoods. Using rigorous simulation-assisted discrete outcome random parameter models, the results shed new lights on the direct and indirect connections between built environment, travel behavior, positivity, hospitalization, and mortality rates. More mixed land use and greater pedestrian-oriented street connectivity is correlated with lower COVID-19 hospitalization/fatality rates. Greater participation in sedentary travel correlates with higher COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality whereas the reverse is true for greater participation in active travel. COVID-19 hospitalizations strongly mediate the relationships between built environment, active travel, and COVID-19 survival. Ignoring unobserved heterogeneity even when higher resolution smaller area spatial data are harnessed leads to inaccurate conclusions.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Walking
15.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0256904, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381287

ABSTRACT

The 15-minute community life circle (15min-CLC) strategy is one of Shanghai's important methods for building a global city and facing a society with a more diverse population structure in the future. In the existing research, the balance between the construction of the life circle and the needs of the people in the life circle still needs to be further fulfilled. This paper is based on the city's multi-source large data set including 2018 AutoNavi POI (Point of Interests), OSM (OpenStreetMap) road network data and LandScan population data set, and evaluates the current status of Shanghai's 15min-CLC through the fusion of kernel density estimation, service area analysis and other statistical models and proposes relevant optimization suggestions. The results show that there are the following shortcomings: (1) From the perspective of different types of infrastructure service facilities, the spatial construction of Shanghai's overall life service facilities and shopping service facilities needs to be optimized. (2) From the perspective of comprehensive evaluation, the comprehensive service convenience of infrastructure service facilities in the downtown area is relatively high, while the comprehensive service convenience of urban infrastructure service facilities in the suburbs and outer suburbs is relatively low; The diversity of basic service facilities in the 15min-CLC in the downtown area is more consistent with the population distribution; However, in the peripheral areas of the urban area, too many infrastructure service facilities have been constructed. Based on the above shortcomings and the perspective of supply and demand matching, relevant optimization strategies are proposed in different regions and different types of infrastructure service facilities: (1) focus on the construction of basic service facilities in the urban fringe and urban-rural areas, improve the full coverage of the basic service facilities, and appropriately reduce the number of basic service facilities in the downtown area. (2) The development of community business models can be used to promote the development of new life service facilities and shopping service facilities. (3) Improve community medical institutions through facility function conversion, merger and reconstruction, etc. (4) Optimize the hierarchical basic service facility system and improve the population supporting facilities of basic service facilities in the 15min-CLC. This paper incorporates people's needs and concerns on the living environment into the 15min-CLC evaluation model, and uses Shanghai as an example to conduct research, summarizes the existing shortcomings, and proposes corresponding optimization strategies based on the matching of supply and demand. This article attempts to explore a replicable 15min-CLC planning model, so that it can be extended to the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, to provide reference for further research on the 15min-CLC, and to promote urban construction under the concept of sustainable development.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , City Planning/methods , Residence Characteristics , Urban Renewal/methods , Activities of Daily Living , China , Cities , Demography , Humans , Models, Statistical , Urban Population
16.
Environ Int ; 157: 106836, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377710

ABSTRACT

Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria present one of the biggest threats to public health; this must not be forgotten while global attention is focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic. Resistant bacteria have been demonstrated to be transmittable to humans in many different environments, including public settings in urban built environments where high-density human activity can be found, including public transport, sports arenas and schools. However, in comparison to healthcare settings and agriculture, there is very little surveillance of AMR in the built environment outside of healthcare settings and wastewater. In this review, we analyse the existing literature to aid our understanding of what surveillance has been conducted within different public settings and identify what this tells us about the prevalence of AMR. We highlight the challenges that have been reported; and make recommendations for future studies that will help to fill knowledge gaps present in the literature.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Bacteria , Built Environment , Humans , Hygiene , Infection Control , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Environ Health Perspect ; 129(5): 52001, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376616
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(14)2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314650

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has become the focus of attention in the field of urban geography. Built environment, such as the layout of public spaces like transportation hubs and urban open spaces, is an important factor affecting the spread of the epidemic. However, due to the different behavior patterns of different age groups, the intensity and frequency of their use of various built environment spaces may vary. Based on this, we selected patients that were infected, with a non-manipulated time period, and the classification of human behavior patterns; we then conducted a regression analysis study on the spatial distribution and building environment of these COVID-19 patients. The results showed that the spatial distribution of young and middle-aged patients (18-59 years old) was more homogeneous, while the spatial distribution of elderly patients (60 years old and above) had a strong clustering characteristic. Moreover, the significant built environment factors exhibited in the two populations were extremely different. More diverse urban facilities and public spaces exhibited influential properties for older patients, while middle-aged and young adults were more influenced by commuting facilities. It can be said that the built environment shows different influences and mechanisms on the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases in different populations. Therefore, the results of this paper can inform decision makers who expect to reduce the occurrence of urban respiratory infectious diseases by improving the urban built environment.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Environment , Environment Design , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation , Young Adult
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314649

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has stimulated intensive research interest in its transmission pathways and infection factors, e.g., socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, climatology, baseline health conditions or pre-existing diseases, and government policies. Meanwhile, some empirical studies suggested that built environment attributes may be associated with the transmission mechanism and infection risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, no review has been conducted to explore the effect of built environment characteristics on the infection risk. This research gap prevents government officials and urban planners from creating effective urban design guidelines to contain SARS-CoV-2 infections and face future pandemic challenges. This review summarizes evidence from 25 empirical studies and provides an overview of the effect of built environment on SARS-CoV-2 infection risk. Virus infection risk was positively associated with the density of commercial facilities, roads, and schools and with public transit accessibility, whereas it was negatively associated with the availability of green spaces. This review recommends several directions for future studies, namely using longitudinal research design and individual-level data, considering multilevel factors and extending to diversified geographic areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Built Environment , Humans , Pandemics , Schools
20.
Health Place ; 70: 102619, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293804

ABSTRACT

Children in Germany showed positive physical activity changes during the first Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020, but it is unclear how the changes relate to population density, which we investigated in a longitudinal sample of 1711 youth (4-17 years). For each ten citizens more per km2, less positive physical activity changes were observed. For example, a child living in an area with 100 citizens/km2 increased daily life physical activity by 44.50 min/day, whereas a child living in an area with 3000 citizens/km2 only engaged in an additional 9.70 min/day. Policymakers should ensure that youth in densely populated areas have access to physical activity opportunities during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Exercise/physiology , Population Density , Child , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Quarantine
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