Healthy Places: Critical Health + Social Ecology

Growing evidence identifies place and environment as a social determinant of health. What do we mean by “place”? How is it created? How do we diagnose a healthy place? And what can we do to make unhealthy places better? This thread of research explores these questions and examines how place shapes individual and population health broadly – physical, mental and social – as well as the lived experience.

With a primary focus on the built environment, our lab (CH + SE) examines the multilevel connections between place and health using quantitative and qualitative indices. Student projects and collaborations explore social-environmental forces that impact health, and what roles planning and public health agencies, as well as other institutions such as local governments, civil society, the private sector and communities themselves, can play in taking action aimed at improving community health and social engagement.