Climate Change & Public Health
Changes occurring in the world’s climate are affecting people’s health and well-being, and will have even greater impacts in the future. Public health agencies are working to respond to the health effects of climate change. Communities across the SCAG region are at-risk for negative health effects associated with climate change, such as natural disasters, including floods and heat waves.
Coastal and low-lying areas could see an increase in floods, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Mountain regions are at risk of increasing heat and vector-borne diseases due to changes in snow melt. In addition, auto-related air pollution contributes to a spectrum of health incidences, including cases of chronic bronchitis; respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalizations; respiratory-related ER visits; acute bronchitis; work loss days; premature mortality; asthma exacerbation; and acute, lower, and upper respiratory symptoms.
SCAG & Public Health
Public health is a newly emerging focus issue for SCAG as a result of the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS process, during which new public health performance measures were first proposed for the region, and which saw an unprecedented level of stakeholder and public interest in the health outcomes of regional planning. Policy and strategy in the RTP principally impacts public health through both air quality and through allowing opportunities for physical activity. Anticipated outcomes for this effort include identification of potential performance measures for public health, along with partnership and information sharing on including public health as a consideration in the planning process.