I currently lead a number of urban health projects around the world and Direct the Center for Global Healthy Cities at UC Berkeley.
How can upgrading informal settlements, often called slums, be a health intervention? This project explores how both the processes and outcomes of slum upgrading can contribute to health equity in cities. We are especially concerned with gender inequities, mobility/disability access, and inclusive services. This project includes a partnership with the World Health Organisation, Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health (PHE) group & and Shack/Slum Dwellers International.
A collaborative project with Universidad de Antioquia and others, we are exploring the factors that have contributed to Medellín’s transformation into a City for Life. Our project is documenting the practices equity based urban governance and healthy city planning in Medellín. We are contributing to the Latin American Urban Health Network and the Medellin Metropolitan Plan PEMOT, in partnership with Instituto de Estudios Urbanos.
RYSE Center, Richmond, CA
In partnership with youth and leaders at RYSE, I am supporting the new RYSE Commons, which will be an expansion of RYSE’s current campus. The project includes trauma-informed participatory-design and explores how this model can act as a type of health promoting intervention for an entire community. The completion of the project will deliver new indoor and outdoor space, as well as improved safety and access to the RYSE Center.
Pogo Park, Richmond, CA
In this project, we ask: how can a unique neighborhood-based, built environment intervention address the multiple determinants of health equity? The re-design, co-construction and programming at Pogo Park is now a national model for urban place-making. We are co-leading a community-based participatory action-research project that will answer whether place-based investments in communities of color inevitably lead to gentrification or can benefit the social, economic and health status of existing residents?
Citizen Science - Air Pollution in
Nairobi’s Informal Settlements
Air pollution is now killing more people in African cities than HIV and malaria combined. In Nairobi, the urban poor living in informal settlements are disproportionately burdened. However, very little data on exposure to air pollution and community-based interventions are taking place. I am co-leading a partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute-Africa along with community residents in the Mukuru informal settlement to document hazardous air pollution. This is a citizen science project, where residents are trained to gather data, analyze exposures and report adverse health symptoms and co-create interventions with professionals and government.
Nairobi Informal Settlements Upgrading
Brazil Favela Health
A partnership with the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Social Medicine, the Center for Health Promotion (CEDAPS), and FioCruz, is evaluating how a multi-dimensional approach to urban planning in Rio can promote greater health equity. We are also working with Yale University in Salvador in a favela called Pau da Lima. Read more here.
Urban Climate Justice
Building on the climate justice movement, this project is focused on how to ensure climate policies in cities around the world support the urgent needs of the poor and most vulnerable populations. We are are also developing strategies and policies to hold corporate polluters more accountable. Read more here.
Richmond Health Equity Partnership
I am currently a co-leader of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership in Richmond, California. This project aims to integrate health equity into all city government decisions, as well as county health and school district planning. In 2014, Richmond became the first city in California to legislate a Health in All Policies strategy. Read more here.
Health Impact Assessment
I have conducted and evaluated numerous Health Impact Assessments. I am a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area Health Impact Assessment Collaborative and a leader of UC Berkeley's Health Impact Assessment Group.
This project is focused on supporting community based organizations to address structural racism that drives inequitable hazardous burdens and a lack of environmental amenities in poor communities in the US and around the world.
Here are some of the key partners in my research and policy work. I am currently working with all of these organizations in some capacity.