The physical factors of where we live, play, learn and work make up the built environment. These include homes, buildings, streets, parks, local transit and public utilities. The built environment influences health behaviors and, in turn, affects risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. People can have diets that are more nutritious if they live close to places that offer affordable, healthy foods. Youth are less likely to smoke or drink when schools are far away from tobacco and alcohol outlets. Regular walking and biking can be easier and safer if sidewalks and bike lanes are widely available. The built environment in a Livable Community makes the healthy choice, the easy choice for its residents.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Impact of the built environment on health. Retrieved December 6, 2018, from

Perdue, W. C., Stone, L. A., & Gostin, L. O. (2003). The built environment and its relationship to the public’s health: the legal framework. American Journal of Public Health, 93(9), 1390-1394.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2018). Built Environment and Health. Retrieved December 6, 2018, from