About Professor Jason Corburn
I am an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, jointly appointed in the Department of City & Regional Planning and the School of Public Health. I direct Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development, the joint Master of City Planning (MCP) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program and lead the Center for Global Healthy Cities. My research focuses on the links between environmental health and social justice in cities, notions of expertise in science-based policy making, and the role of local knowledge in addressing environmental and public health problems. I am currently working on developing a strategy for integrating health equity into all decision making in city governance, drafting and implementing integrated upgrading plans for informal settlements and researching metrics and indicators for urban health equity. I am a practitioner and researcher focused on promoting greater health equity in cities and linking city planning and public health. My work helps build partnerships between urban residents, professional scientists and decision-makers in order to collaboratively generate policy and planning solutions that improve the qualities of cities and the well-being of residents, particularly the poor and people of color.
I am committed to engaged scholarship, which to me means using research and the resources of the university to promote change, particularly social justice. In my own work, this most often happens through partnerships with community-based organizations and governments, but also includes foundations and international agencies. See my Projects page for more details. I have received numerous awards for my work, including the United Nations Association Global Citizenship Award, the 2016 UC Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Public Service in Teaching, the Paul Davidoff Book Award for Street Science, and a Health Policy Investigator Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I was also a fellow at Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation when I was a doctoral student at MIT. My CV is available here.
What's New with Professor Corburn
My new book with Dr. Lee Riley, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, is available from UC Press as of June 2016. Slum Health exposes how and why slums can be unhealthy; reveals that not all slums are equal in terms of the hazards and health issues faced by residents; and suggests how slum dwellers, scientists, and social movements can come together to make slum life safer, more just, and healthier.
My work on health equity and community stress in Richmond, CA, featured in Nature, March 2016, bit.ly/1RgKxcl
New Director of the Institute of Urban & Regional Development at UC Berkeley. Excited to join my colleague, Prof. Malo Hutson, Associate Director, as we build new action research for equitable and inclusive cities world-wide.
My Center for Global Healthy Cities released a new report on 16 March 2015 detailing the health impacts of inadequate sanitation on the lives of women and girls in Nairobi's Mukuru slum. This report is supporting the actions of over 20,000 slum dweller women calling on the Government of Kenya to improve sanitation and land rights for the urban poor. An article from the UK Guardian on our work appears here.
Our Health in All Policies work in Richmond, CA, received the Public Service award on February, 20, 2015, at the 6th Annual UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Leaders Breakfast. At left is me, Richmond Mayor Tom Bates, and Dean Jennifer Wolch from Berkeley's College of Environmental Design.
International Conference on Urban Health, Manchester, UK, 4-7 March 2014. I'll be keynoting and co-chairing the section on Urban Planning and Architecture and Health. An important meeting bringing together academics, policy makers and activists to grapple with the continuing health inequities in cities around the world.
NPR Story on Nairobi Slum Mapping
A feature story on National Public Radio (NPR), 17 July 2013, highlights the work of our collaborators in the Mathare slum of Nairobi and the important political work mapping can do for slum dwellers. Read or listen to the story here and see examples of some of our maps.