Culture of Learning Cities: Connecting Leisure and Health for Lifelong Learning Communities

Culture of Learning Cities: Connecting Leisure and Health for Lifelong Learning Communities

Ebbin Dotson (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA), Dan K. Hibbler (DePaul University, USA) and Leodis Scott (Columbia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1674-3.ch035


This chapter contributes a conceptual framework for addressing the health of communities through the synergy of leisure, public health, and continuing education systems at a localized city level. The culture learning cities offers a broader setting and case for implementing solutions that increase the overall health of communities. Key built environments within learning cities, such as parks, can serve as nontraditional continuing education structures, where people can learn and share their differences and experiences that continually improve qualities of the individual, community, and society.
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The Importance Of Health In Advancing Environments

Learning cities can harness collaborative synergy when combining public health and built environment perspectives to address complex problems in society. Formed to increase public health, the collaborations across communities and professions are among the best examples of advancing environments through multifaceted approaches. At individual and societal levels, individuals exercise personal care and social responsibility towards healthy outcomes. Figure 1 shows a conceptual framework for the drivers and burdens of health in a learning city. Among some of the most complex problems facing individuals and communities are the environmental burdens of confronting obesity, violence, and health care access. At the community level, education, lifestyle, and the built environment are shared resources driving positive health outcomes. In this framework, community level drivers are necessary to overcome and combat individual level burdens. Increases in community health status, or comparative health status between communities, are conceptualized as a function of the advancement of these drivers. This chapter will use parks and recreational initiatives to exemplify this function in action.

Figure 1.

Health status conceptual framework for learning cities

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