Increasing the health promotive capacity of human environments

Am J Health Promot. 2003 Sep-Oct;18(1):4-13. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-18.1.4.


This article offers an integration of two different perspectives on health promotion research and practice: one emphasizing the concept of community capacity for health improvement and the other focusing on the notion of health supportive environments. These two approaches generally have emphasized different kinds of community assets for health promotion. Specifically, community capacity research has focused on the cultivation of human resources (e.g., collaborative coalitions, participatory decision-making, health education strategies) for health promotion, whereas environmentally oriented research has underscored the influence of material resources (e.g., the built environment, natural resources, technological infrastructure) on important health behaviors and outcomes. Combining these two streams of health promotion research yields a broader understanding of the health promotive capacity of human environments and suggests several "best process" guidelines for enhancing health promotion practice.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Planning / standards*
  • Community Participation
  • Concept Formation
  • Decision Making
  • Environment Design / standards*
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Humans
  • Primary Prevention / standards*
  • United States