Activating Two Decades of Built Environment and Public Health Scholarship through an Equity and Covid-19 Lens
Lecture by Nisha Botchwey, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology
Associate Dean Academic Affairs, Georgia Tech Professional Education
Planning and public health scholars and practitioners renewed an appreciation for the relationship between their fields two decades ago. As a result, healthy places research, university courses and community projects grew exponentially. The recommendations and best practices from this work transformed health and quality of life in communities, cities, and regions around the world. However, this transformation has been uneven, often excluding low-income and BIPOC communities from healthy urban form and equal opportunities to realize improved health outcomes. Additionally, the global response to an infectious disease threat, Covid-19, has spotlighted limitations in the design, creation and maintenance of healthy places that further threatens already vulnerable populations. What do healthy places that benefit all people look like in light of the immediate infectious disease threat? How are communities engaging to realize their vision for these healthy places? What is the role of urban planners to ensure healthy environments for all?
Nisha Botchwey is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an adjunct professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health. An expert in health and the built environment as well as community engagement, she holds graduate degrees in both urban planning and public health. Dr. Botchwey directs the Healthy Places Lab, is a member of the Physical Activity Research Center, directs the Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse, and leads data dashboards for evidence-based planning and practice. She has published numerous books, articles, reports, blogs and videos.
Dr. Botchwey is also associate dean for academic programs, collaborates with faculty and the Georgia Tech community to develop world-class academic programs for Georgia Tech Professional Education. She serves as the voice for students enrolled in the division’s programs and has oversight of all academic offerings.