Kaid Benfield Archive


Awesome presentation by Howard Frumkin on healthy communities

Kaid Benfield

Posted April 14, 2009 at 1:42PM

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I've had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Howard Frumkin, MD, director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (at least) a couple of times and enjoyed the encounters.  I definitely enjoy Howie's work, which is all about the connections between sprawl, smart and sustainable growth, and public health, a subject I have touched on here occasionally.

Howie gave a talk a couple of weeks ago at the National Building Museum, where he and I both have served as advisers to the Green Community exhibit.  I wasn't there, unfortunately, but I happened across a video of it that I will now introduce to you.

I give a lot of presentations (as I just realized I have been mentioning too often in here!).  It's something I enjoy a lot, especially coordinating my talks with images that I tailor to the particular audiences I meet with.  In addition to the one I mentioned yesterday, coming up in North Carolina later this week, I have two more coming up soon in San Francisco and Cincinnati.  I'm really good at it, if I do say so.

But, having watched Howie's video, I'm not sure I'm nearly as good at it as he is.  His presentation at the NBM was content-rich, entertaining, and seemingly effortless.  Wow.  It's not short - over an hour - but I couldn't turn it off once I started.  And when I finished I had about four new ideas for my North Carolina presentation, which I shamelessly stole (we all do it).  I loved all of his points, but one that stuck was his wry observation that, even in planning, it shouldn't be an anomaly to base our decisions on actual research.

Take or make the time, enjoy, and learn:


If you have a question about Howie's talk, or about health and the built environment, you can submit it online.  After April 20, when the question period closes, he'll post the answers.