ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Community health is housed and influenced by the natural and built environment. Factors including air quality, waste disposal, land use, water quality, species protection, and plant ecology contribute to the overall environmental quality of our communities. Poor environmental quality can lead to a myriad of health issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic illness, poisonings, and water related diseases among many other outcomes.1Office of Disease and Health Promotion In order to improve environmental quality, changes in policy, development practices, transportation options, waste reduction, and energy use can be made. By ensuring the environments we live in are healthy, we can ensure that our communities are healthy as well.


What It Means

The unintended consequences of development are not always distributed evenly. Environmental Justice refers to the unequal impact that negative environmental factors can have on communities and their health. It is not uncommon for minority populations to experience these negative health outcomes more so than other communities. Compounding the disparity between communities and how they are affected by poor environmental quality are the resources that communities do or don’t have to mitigate these consequences. Some communities have the capacity to protect themselves from poor water quality or pollution, while minority and low socio economic status communities often don’t have such resources.

Why It Matters

Environments, similar to immune systems, respond better to crisis when they are strong and healthy. Strengthening community environmental quality creates assets and destroys barriers that in turn strengthen resilience. Ecosystem services, unpolluted water and air, and overall clean cities are valuable resources that reinforce the ability of communities to respond to adversity. Alternately, the negative consequences of poor environmental quality, and the resulting poor health outcomes, weaken the ability of communities to recover from disruptive changes to the system.

Join Us

Live Well Arizona is a continually evolving website and will grow with your input. Help us identify, lift up, and celebrate efforts that help Arizonans be healthier and live well.

Submit Your Resources Here

National Resources: The Big Picture

Look here for statistics, analysis strategies, resources and best practices from across the country.

  • Bioregional

  • Food and Water Watch

  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

  • National Environmental Health Partnership Council

  • Sierra Club

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency

Arizona Resources: Local Spotlight

Looking to start, or engage in a conversation about Environmental Quality and how you can contribute? Here are connectors, conveners, advocates and actors to bring to the table.

  • Arizona Community Tree Council

  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

  • Arizona Nature Conservancy

  • ASU Decision Center for a Desert City

  • Black Mesa Water Coalition

  • GreenLights Solutions

  • Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter

  • Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc.

  • Tucson Clean and Beautiful


#THISISHAPPENINGHERE:

KEY PROJECTS

Connect with Environmental Quality efforts-in-progress, and the partners who are helping to make them happen:

Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Social Justice and Environment: This program within the Institute of the Environment awards financial support to community nonprofits, University of Arizona (UA) students, UA faculty, and others working in social justice or environmental stewardship.

Brownfields Land Recycling Program: Facilitated by the Office of Environmental Programs for the City of Phoenix, this project reduces obstacles and provide assistance for redevelopment of brownfields in the city.

City of Chandlers Environmental Education Center: Offers a variety of programming for all ages engaging guests with their natural surroundings through art, science, fitness, and outdoorsmanship.

Climate and Health Adaption Plan: The goal of ACHAP is to support the mission of the ADHS – to promote, protect, and improve the health and wellness of individuals and communities in Arizona.

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) – Green Infrastructure: Uses engineering techniques to mimic natural processes that retain and use stormwater while addressing pollution concerns.

Salt River Project – Trees for Change: SRP Trees for Change, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, completes tree-planting, forest thinning, prescribed burning and other projects that help sustain healthy forests.

#THISNEEDSTOHAPPENHERE:

Signature Projects

Get a bird’s eye view of efforts from around the country that can be an inspiration and reference point for Arizona-based work:

Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner (ekepner@vitalysthealth.org or 602-774-3446).
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Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner (ekepner@vitalysthealth.org or 602-774-3446).
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