The term “built environment” refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks or green space to neighborhoods and cities. Built environments can help or hinder safety efforts depending on their design. For example, a neighborhood street that is narrow with cars parked on either side signals drivers to slow down, as opposed to a wide street with double yellow lines that actually encourage faster speeds.
There is great potential for injury prevention through the design of our built environments. These interventions are especially promising because they don’t require individuals to have any special training or knowledge to behave safely.