alexa Zoning as a Human Rights Violation: Is Zoning Associate
ISSN: 2167-1079

Primary Healthcare: Open Access
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Zoning as a Human Rights Violation: Is Zoning Associated with Increased Health-Risk and Health Care Disparity?

Travis Bergmann1 and Partho P Sengupta2*

1Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA

2Zena and Michael A Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Partho P Sengupta
Zena and Michael A Wiener Cardiovascular Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA
Tel: 212-659-9121
Fax: 212-659-9033
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: April 05, 2016; Accepted date: May 31, 2016; Published date: June 07, 2016

Citation: Bergmann T, Sengupta PP (2016) Zoning as a Human Rights Violation: Is Zoning Associated with Increased Health-Risk and Health Care Disparity? Primary Health Care 6: 226. doi:10.4172/2167-1079.1000226

Copyright: © 2016 Bergmann T, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Human rights violations are not always as clear as people would like. When they involve the direct violation of an individual’s life, such as forced labor or false imprisonment, or they result in death, society can easily identify and oppose them. On the other hand less conspicuous risks derived from governmental policies such as zoning laws are difficult to recognize. This review provides evidence of how zoning is associated with health-risk and disparity in health care delivery. Disparities resulting from zoning heighten human stress and lead to maladapted behavioral changes that cluster with diseased conditions like obesity. Zoning, as a human rights violation is difficult to understand, however, this lack of recognition is a direct result from socially acceptable processes that have created the way we live our life. There are multiple social processes masking human rights violations resulting from the construction of our built environment. Without a close examination of these processes it can appear that those violated are the victims of chance or bad choices, but in fact, it is socially constructed circumstances that lead these people to be violated. The depth of the human rights violations runs much deeper than just the individual. These human rights violations penetrate and become pervasive all the way to the unborn next generation. The subsequent impacts from the infringement of a person's rights linger when violations inform the circumstances that determine the type of education and employment available to a person. The aim of this paper will be to outline the process of how the built environment leads to human rights violations. Processes begin with the act of creating the zoning laws; zoning has the unintentional and intentional act of creating segregation, further, it is segregation that leads to discrimination, and the impact of discrimination has very real and lasting adverse health outcomes. The presence of disparities created by socially constructed processes such as zoning results in stress and the increase in adverse health outcomes such as obesity, one of the major forerunners of the current global epidemic of non-communicable diseases.


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