Environmental analysis of health damages coming from a residential neighborhood built in 150 countries

Modeste Kameni Nematchoua, Somayeh Asadi, Esther Obonyo, Sigrid Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decisions made in the design of urban developments at the neighbourhood scale influence damages on human health, which depend on location. So far, no standard has proposed the range of health damage coming from neighborhoods located in any region, due to the different morphologies of neighborhoods, and limited study numbers. Aware of this fact, this study was conducted with the aim to evaluate and to compare the effect of health damage produced by a sustainable neighborhood in which the same morphology was designed in several regions. To perform this comparison, the same neighborhood design is applied to 150 countries, but four parameters are adapted to each country: energy mix, local climate, building materials, and occupants ‘mobility. In addition, this study analysis the induced health impact of the neighborhood over a life cycle of 100 years and examines the impact of mobility and renewable energy on the health, which was evaluated by Pleiades ACV software. Among the four local parameters (energy mix, local materials, climate, and transport), the energy mix has the most significant effect on the health damage. The results show that the countries having a lower concentration of renewable energy sources have higher health damage than others. Africa is the continent that most affected by health damage due to lack of having an eco-neighborhood. The building materials and electricity use are the main sources of health damage in a neighborhood. The implementation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of an eco-neighborhood has a significant impact on the potential health damages. Among the different stages of the neighborhood life cycle, the operation stage is the most significant which is responsible over 50% of total health damage. It is important to multiply ecological neighborhoods around the world, because health damage is estimated to be 20% lower in sustainable neighborhoods than more conventional neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1665
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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