About the Built Environment Unit
The built environment is a term used to describe the man-made spaces and structures that form a community. This includes buildings, roads, sidewalks, parks, schools, worksites, and homes. It can also encompass community infrastructure, such as public transportation, public water systems, and sanitation.
The Built Environment (BE) Unit was launched in 2015 to promote health and equity through community planning and healthy community design where individuals live, learn, work, worship, and play in Harris County, Texas.
The BE Unit ensures that communities are planned and developed in ways that improve health and quality of life. They work closely with other agencies and organizations, such as Harris County Engineering Department, Harris County Flood Control District, Precincts, community organizations and local leaders, to provide a health lens on proposed plans, policies and projects.
BE Unit program goals are to:
- Increase access to healthy communities and environments
- Engage the community to build local knowledge and support opportunities to facilitate change that promotes health equity
- Support cross-sector collaboration to build capacity and share information on best practices for healthy community design
- Provide technical assistance to communities and agencies interested in improving the built environment
- Demonstrate the value of integrating health into planning, design, and development projects