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Healthy Places Lab

Healthy Places Lab

The Healthy Places Lab at Georgia Tech produces action research that advances population health and wellbeing.

About

Through the lens of the built environment, we address the complex social, economic, and environmental determinants of health that fall outside of the typical health care setting but have major influences on quality of life. 

Our projects focus on community engagement, youth advocacy, health equity, and measurement of the built environment with emerging technologies. We disseminate community design and public health academic and professional multidisciplinary training and community building resources through the Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse (BEPHC).  

The Healthy Places Lab is also a core member of the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC), which builds the evidence about the policies, practices and aspects of the built environment that promote safe and developmentally appropriate physical activity for all youth and their families.

Lab Members

Dr. Nisha Botchwey

Dr. Nisha Botchwey

Director

Associate Professor, School of City & Regional Planning
Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Georgia Tech Professional Education

Nene Igietseme

Nene Igietseme

Ph.D. Student
Bonwoo Koo

Bonwoo Koo

Ph.D. Student
Meaghan McSorley

Meaghan McSorley

Ph.D. Student
Katie OConnell

Katie OConnell

Ph.D. Student
Olivia Chatman

Olivia Chatman

Jasmine Jones-Bynes

Jasmine Jones-Bynes

The YEAH! Project

PARC Georgia Tech YEAH Animation GIF with details about the YEAH! program.

Youth Engagement and Action for Health (YEAH!) is a 14-week curriculum to engage youth participants in planning and implementing projects designed to create healthier neighborhoods. Youth will be trained to conduct neighborhood assessments, select a meaningful project, and advocate for change with local policy and decision makers.

YEAH! is a fantastic way for youth to understand how the design and function of their school and/or community impacts their health, to develop an action plan that can lead to changes, and to advocate for these changes with decision makers in their own community.

Botchwey, N., Jones-Bynes, J., OConnell, L.K., Millstein, R., Kim, A., Conway, T. (2020) Impact of a Youth Advocacy Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Program for Physical Activity on Perceptions and Beliefs. Preventive Medicine. 136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106077 (corresponding author) 

Botchwey, N., Conway, T., Floyd, M., Hipp, A., Kim, A., Pollack-Porter, K., Umstattd Meyer, R., Burnett, J., Sallis, J. (2020) Recruitment Challenges with Youth Physical Activity Research. Preventive Medicine. 131. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105888  (corresponding author) 

Kim, A., Botchwey, N. (2020) YEAH! Club Stories: Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development (AALEAD) (January) www.yeah.gatech.edu 

Sallis, J., Botchwey, N., Conway, T., Floyd, M., Hipp, A., Kim, A., Pollack-Porter, K., Umstattd Meyer, M.R. (2019) Building Evidence to Reduce Inequities in Youth Physical Activity and Obesity: Introduction to the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) Special Section. Preventive Medicine. 129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105767 

Botchwey, N., Johnson, N., OConnell, K.L., & Kim, A. (2019). Including Youth in the Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Planning Association. 85: 3, 255-270. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2019.1616319 (corresponding author) 

Umstattd Meyer, M.R., Hipp, J.A., Botchwey, N., Floyd, M., Kim, A., Pollack-Porter, K.M., Sallis, J. (2019). How to Improve Physical Activity and Health for All Children and Families. Stanford Social Innovation Review. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/how_to_improve_physical_activity_and_health_for_all_children_and_families# 

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). “Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth.” Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25546 

Botchwey, N., Ricks, T. (2019). YEAH! Club Stories: Charles R. Drew Charter School, Atlanta, GA. (August) www.yeah.gatech.edu 

Botchwey, N., Bryan, K. (2019). YEAH! Club Stories: Glades Middle School, Miramar, FL. (August) www.yeah.gatech.edu 

Botchwey, N., O’Connell, K., Brody, B. (2019). YEAH! Club Stories: Lihue Boys & Girls Club, Lihue, HI (August) www.yeah.gatech.edu 

Botchwey, N., Jones, F. (2019). YEAH! Club Stories: Penobscot Boys & Girls Club – Presque Isle/Micmac Unit Presque, ME. (August) www.yeah.gatech.edu 

Botchwey, N. 2019-present. Youth Engagement and Action for Health (YEAH!) Curriculum. www.yeah.gatech.edu Youth Engagement and Action for Health (YEAH!) is a 14-week curriculum to engage youth participants in planning and implementing projects designed to create healthier neighborhoods.  

Botchwey, N., Floyd, M., Pollack, K., Carmen, C., Spoon, C., Schmid, T., Conway, T., Hipp, J.A., Kim, A.J., Umstattd Meyer, M.R., Wilson, A. Kauh, T., Sallis, J. (2018). Policy and Practice-Relevant Youth Physical Activity Research Agenda. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 15(8): 626-634. https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2017-0327 (corresponding author)  

Botchwey, N. & O’Connell, K. (2018). Physical Activity Advocacy Training Among Youth in Lower-Income Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities. (April)  https://paresearchcenter.org/physical-activity-advocacy-training-among-youth-in-lower-income-racial-and-ethnic-minority-communities/ This post discusses the research presented at the Active Living Research Conference for the Youth Engagement and Action for Health study. 

Sallis, J. & Botchwey, N. (2016). Introducing the Physical Activity Research Center. (March) https://activelivingresearch.org/blog/2016/03/introducing-physical-activity-research-center This post provides information to readers on the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC), the team, it’s goals and plans for building the evidence around policies, practices and the built environment that promote safe and developmentally appropriate physical activity. 

Lal, R., Das, K., Fan, Y., Barkjohn, K., Botchwey, N., Ramaswami, A., Russell, A.G. (2020) Connecting Air Quality with Emotional Well-Being and Neighborhood Infrastructure in a US City. Environmental Health Insights. 14. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178630220915488 

Servadio, J.L., Lawal, A.S., Davis, T., Bates, J., Russell, A.G., Ramaswami, A., Convertino, M., & Botchwey, N. (2019). Demographic Inequities in Health Outcomes and Air Pollution Exposure in the Atlanta Area and its Relationship to Urban Infrastructure. Journal of Urban Health. 96: 219. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-018-0318-7 (corresponding author) 

Koo, B., Boyd, N., Botchwey, N., & Guhathakurta, S. (2019). Environmental Equity and Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urban Tree Canopy in Atlanta. Journal of Planning Education and Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X19864149   

Gaglioti, A.H., Xu, J., Rollins, L., Baltru, P., O’Connell, K.L., Cooper, D.L., Hopkins, J., Botchwey, N, Akintobi, T. (2018). Neighborhood Environmental Health and Premature Death from Cardiovascular Disease. Prev Chronic Disease. 15: 170220. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2018/17_0220.htm http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.170220

Botchwey, N., Lee, S., Leous, A., Guhathakurta, S. (2014). Neighborhood Quality of Life and Health in Atlanta. In H. Etienne, & B. Faga. (Eds), Planning Atlanta (Chapter 13). Chicago, IL: APA Planners Press. 

Zhang, G., Zhang, W., Guhathakurta, S., & Botchwey, N. (2017). Flow-based planning tool in the City of Atlanta. Environment and Planning B. https://doi.org/10.1177/2399808317705881 

Botchwey, N. (2017). What We Measure in Health Matters (February). Planning4Health Webinar. American Planning Association. 

Botchwey, N., Kulbok, P. & Park E. (2020). Building a Culture of Health to Influence Health Equity within Communities. In Stanhope and Lancaster (Eds.), Public Health Nursing: Population-centered Health Care in the Community, edition 10. Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier. 

Botchwey, N. 2011-present. Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse. www.bephc.gatech.edu.   

Botchwey, N., Umemoto, K. (2018). A Guide to Designing Engaged Learning Course in Community Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X18772075 

Botchwey, N. & Trowbridge, M. (2012). Training the Next Generation to Promote Healthy Places. In H. Frumkin, A. Dannenberg, & R. Jackson (Eds.), Making Healthy Places: A Built Environment for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability. (Chapter 23). Chicago, IL.: Island Press. (corresponding author) 

Pollack, K., Dannenberg, A., Botchwey, N., Stone, C., & Seto, E. (2014). Developing a Model Curriculum for a University Course in Health Impact Assessment. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal Journal 33(1): 80-85. https://doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2014.960213 

Dyjack, D.T., Botchwey, N., & Marziale, E. (2013). Cross-sectoral Workforce Development: Examining the Intersection of Public Health and Community Design. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 19(1): 97-99. https://doi.org/10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182788cff 

Botchwey, N. (2013). Public Health and Community Design Cross-Sectoral Workforce Development. Expert Panel Report supported by the National Prevention Strategy through CDC, NNPHI and in partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Botchwey, N., Trowbridge, M., & Fisher, T. (2014). Green Health: Urban Planning and the Development of Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods and Schools. Journal of Planning Education and Research 34(2): 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X14531830 (corresponding author) 

Trowbridge, M., Huang, T., Botchwey, N., Fisher, T., Pyke, C, Rodgers, A., & Ballard-Barbash, R. (2013). Green Building and Childhood Obesity Prevention: Toward and Integrated “Green Health” Environmental Design Research Framework. American Journal of Preventative Medicine 44(5): 489-495. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.01.010 

Ross, C., Orenstein, M., & Botchwey, N. (2014) Health Impact Assessments in the USA. New York: Springer.

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