Three Ecologies of the Urban Environment and the Health of Latinx Communities

Francisco Lara-Valencia, Maria Hilda Garcia Perez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the USA, the Latinx population has been identified as a minority group subject to disproportionate exposure to unhealthy environments. Given that a vast majority of Latinx persons live in highly segregated neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, an understanding of how urban environments affect Latinx persons’ health opportunities is vital for reducing health disparities. In this chapter, we explore some dimensions of the urban environment and explain its relevance to Latinx communities’ health.We provide an overviewof the social composition and spatial distribution of the Latinx population. Then, we present a conceptual model describing a general pathway of how the social, built, and natural ecologies of the urban environment influence Latinx communities’ health.We illustrate empirically how these ecologies interact at the neighborhood level to affect Latinx persons’ physical activity. We conclude with a list of actionable policy alternatives that can address urban health problems in Latinx neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew and Emerging Issues in Latinx Health
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030240431
ISBN (Print)9783030240424
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Environment-health nexus
  • Latinx populations
  • Physical activity
  • Residential segregation
  • Urban environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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