Research

Faculty affiliated with the Healthy Places Design Lab have conducted a number of projects related to healthy places. Recent highlights include:

Public Sanitation in Mumbai (2018-)

This project, led by Rahul Mehrotra, is examining the issue of public sanitation in Mumbai, with a special focus on community toilets in the city’s slums/informal settlements. It consists of three parts. The first part is  mapping of the larger community toilet networks and geographies within the city. This includes a study of the ‘Sulabh Shauchalaya Initiative’ (low cost and easy access to sanitation) and other private or Government funded public toilets, built in Mumbai. This is restricted to the island city of Mumbai, which is the densest portion within the Greater Metropolitan Region. The second part of the research explores the social, technical, and cultural concerns as well as challenges that surround the issue of community public toilets in Mumbai. Finally, the third part of the research defines the potential means by which a ‘prototype project’ to address these questions can be formulated and designed for implementation to address these issues of sanitation in Mumbai. The project has an underlining ambition to scale the project nationally in India.

Health Impact Assessment (2018-)

Health Impact Assessment

Health Assessments are a way to evaluate past planning outcomes or new planning and design proposals. Projects starting in 2018 will build on work done by the Health and Place Initiative to conduct health (impact) assessments of buildings and neighborhoods.

Aging, Health, and Environments (2018-)

Homes and neighborhoods are increasingly the places where healthcare is being delivered to older people—replacing special facilities (e.g. nursing homes and hospitals). Led by Jennifer Molinsky and Ann Forsyth a series of projects are examining how home, neighborhood, and city environments can better support an aging population.

China’s Urban Communities: Concepts, Contexts, and Well-being

Chinese urbanization is one of the important phenomena of the last decades of the twentieth century and early decades of the current one. It has enormous implications for the economy, environment, and culture. What are these urban communities in China like particularly in the large cities where high urban densities have become the norm? Drawing on work in 25 fairly ordinary neighborhoods, developed and redeveloped over the past three decades, China’s Urban Communities, by Peter Rowe, Ann Forsyth, and Har Ye Kan looks at the physical character of these areas through the lens of the well-being of their inhabitants.

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Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035

By 2035, more than one in five people in the US will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group. This growth will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services far beyond what current supply can meet. This report charts the health concerns and housing needs of this growing population.

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Creating Healthy Neighborhoods: Evidence-based Planning and Design Strategies

This book by Ann Forsyth, Emily Salomon, and Laura Smead translates research about health and well-being into practical guidelines and considers how planners, designers, civic leaders, and activists can create places that reflect a broader concept of health or well-being. The team uses guidance based on research findings where those are available and fill the research gaps using frameworks about how health and place are related more generally and in relation to specific topics and types of places. In addition, the process of implementing new ideas is not unique to health but rather draws on a larger base of research evidence and professional experience. So in the end this can be read as a publication of ideas and guidelines for good planning and design, filtered through the lens of health.

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