A group of researchers who study the intersection of design and health has produced a lengthy rebuttal to a report published last fall by MIT's Center for Advanced Urbanism in the School of Architecture + Planning, which is collaborating with the AIA on the Decade of Design program, part of the Clinton Global Initiative. The study, "A Report on the State of Health + Urbanism," examines the relationship between public health and design of cities. It uses eight metropolitan areas as case studies: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The new rebuttal is authored by Howard Frumkin, MD, dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health; Richard Jackson, MD, Hon. AIA, professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles; and Andrew Dannenberg, MD, a professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. The three authors have collaborated on previous papers and books, including "Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability." Frumkin and Jackson also serve on the AIA's Design and Health leadership group.

The authors write that MIT's report "raises some legitimate questions, and offers some potentially promising visualization methods. But it is mainly distinguished by surprisingly slapdash 'research,' careless analysis, and unsupportable conclusions. It’s important to set the record straight."

Here is the full rebuttal: Report on the State of Health + Urbanism: A Critique

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