Urban issues in health promotion strategies

Am J Public Health. 2000 Jun;90(6):863-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.6.863.


The powerful influence of behavioral choices on health status is well established. The implications and challenges for urban populations are formidable. Understanding urban environments will better prepare health promotion professionals to deal effectively with the forces affecting health-related behaviors. In thinking about urban health promotion in the United States, researchers often distinguish between 2 frameworks; one contending with urbanization, which affects most of us, and another contending with inner-city environments, where many of the deepest needs are. Urbanization confers both benefits and liabilities, but the single greatest challenge for health promotion may lie in reestablishing positive social connections. In contrast, 2 key features of the inner-city environment may be the negative ecological forces within neighborhoods and the lack of control over one's fate. Too often, prescriptions for the inner city stereotype its problems and ignore its strengths. For the inner city, important foundation stones for the future include ways to build on these strengths through positive connections and increased community control through coalition building.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • United States
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*