Physical Environment


Goal 4: Enhance the physical environment to improve safe and healthy living

The Physical Environment consists of both the natural environment and the built environment. The physical environment profoundly affects health and safety from the air we breathe and water we drink, to the transportation and infrastructure to which we have access. Considering the physical environment in our injury and violence prevention work opens up many opportunities to be creative and to collaborate with non-traditional partners in meaningful ways that can help improve health and safety for whole communities and populations.


Evidence-based or evidence informed approaches to enhance the physical environment to improve safe and healthy living:

1. Modify the physical and social environment
2. Reduce exposure to community-level risks through environmental approaches
3. Street outreach and community norm change
4. Improve school climate, safety, and monitoring in schools
5. Improve organizational policies and workplace climate
6. Modify the physical and social environments of neighborhoods
7. Reduce access to lethal means among persons at risk for suicide or violence
8. Organizational policies and culture

Success is:

    • Decreasing the number of violent crime per 100,000 people
    • Decreasing the proportion of days where air quality is >100 μg/m3
    • Decreasing the average commute hours per year
    • Increasing the number of workers commuting by walking, cycling or transit
    • Increasing the percentage of the population living within 1⁄2 -mile of a park, beach, or open space greater than 1 acre
    • Increasing the number of civic, social, religious, political, and business organizations per
      10,000 people
    • Decreasing the proportion of the population lacking adequate access to food
    • Decreasing the percentage of low-income households who do not live close to a grocery