Fixing Home Design Can Help Eliminate Diseases of Poverty

Poor living environments can help fuel the spread of infectious diseases and deepen the conditions of poverty, according to Australian architect Paul Pholeros.

The converse of that, of course, is that designing and building better homes can lead to a startling alleviation—and even eradication—of poverty.

Many infectious diseases have poverty as the leading risk factor. Contributing factors are a contaminated water supply, inadequate sanitation, poor nutrition, and wide health care disparities. AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are the most well-known so-called diseases of poverty.

In this TED Talk, Pholeros shows how his work used simple design fixes to counter poor health in an Aboriginal community in Australia.