This area of research analyzes the relationship between the built/natural environment and how it influences population health. Specifically, we are interested in understanding how housing, transportation, parks, open space, and the overall infrastructure within a metropolitan area affects health outcomes.
Housing and Health: This project explores the relationship between neighborhood change, displacement, and health across several cities in the United States, Europe, and South America. This area of research is interested in understanding broadly how housing costs and lack of affordable housing, changing neighborhood conditions within the central city, and commute time of metropolitan populations impact their health.
Disaster Management and Recovery in Chile: This project looks at how Chile has responded to an increased amount of natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, volcanoes, and landslides. It examines how effectively different government agencies, business interests, NGOs, and academic institutions collaborate to rebuild towns after disasters. In addition, the project explores the implementation of mitigation strategies to prepare for future disasters, and the social implications disasters have on communities. This project is in partnership with several government and academic institutions and aims to discover what lessons can be learned from past disasters to aid future disaster response within Chile, in the United States, and around the world.
School Food Environments and Health: This is an interdisciplinary multi-phased project that explores the capacity for public school districts to implement environmentally sustainable school meal reform to address correctable poor health outcomes among low-income students. The research examines the application of a planning framework called Rethinking School Lunch (RSL) in varied local contexts. RSL is a ten-pronged approach to school meal reform premised on the idea that the quality of school food and student learning can be improved while also reducing the meal program’s environmental footprint and contributing to the local and regional economy. This research began in the Oakland Unified School District in California and has supported this District’s implementation of its program and its Health and Wellness strategies.