Nisha Botchwey


Associate Professor, School of City and Regional Planning
(404) 385-6274

View Botchwey's C.V.


Botchwey is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an adjunct professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health.  An expert in health and the built environment as well as community engagement, she holds graduate degrees in both urban planning and public health. Dr. Botchwey is a member of the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC), directs both the Atlanta Neighborhood Quality of Life and Health Dashboard and the data dashboard for Health, Environment and Livability for Fulton County, and directs the Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse. 

Dr. Botchwey’s research focuses on health and the built environment, health equity, community engagement, and data dashboards for evidence-based planning and practice.  She is co-author of Health Impact Assessment in the USA (2014), convener of a national expert panel on interdisciplinary workforce training between the public health and community design fields, and author of numerous articles, scientific presentations and workshops.  Dr. Botchwey has won distinctions including an NSF ADVANCE Woman of Excellence Faculty Award, a Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellowship from Georgia Tech and the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence Award, a Rockefeller-Penn Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and a Nominated Changemaker by the Obama White House’ Council on Women and Girls. She has also served on the Advisory Committee to the Director for the Centers of Disease Control Prevention, is a Social Sciences Panel Member for the Ford Foundation’s Fellowship Program, and member of the Voices for Healthy Kids Strategic Advisory Committee for the American Heart Association.


Educational Background

2011 - MPH, University of Virginia

2003 - PhD (City and Regional Planning), University of Pennsylvania

1999 - Master of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

1997 - BA (Environmental Science and Public Policy), Harvard University



Community Development

Public Health

Community Engagement

Qualitative Methods



Member, Governing Board for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Southeastern Representative, 2009-2012

Member, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Council to the Director, 2008 - present

National and International Design Competition Placements

National Academy of Science, Transportation Research Board, Communicating Sustainability and Livability Concepts with John and Jane Q Public. Submission: The 5-minute walk, Honorable Mention 2010-2011 Nisha Botchwey with Matthew Trowbridge and William Grimm

 Blog contributions

"Race to School: A Healthy Neighborhoods Game" for the American Planning Association


Research Ambitions

Professor Botchwey examines the intersection of social and built environment determinants of health and civic engagement in the US and the developing world to develop effective community based interventions that improve health by revitalizing neighborhoods into healthy places. Her ongoing research focuses on developing ecological theories of health and urban planning, designing and testing civic engagement-based interventions that address tobacco use, water quality, and obesity, and advancing planning pedagogical models that incorporate health.


Recent Publications

Zhang, Ge, Wenwen Zhang, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, and Nisha Botchwey. "Flow-based Planning Tool in the City of Atlanta." Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 2017, 239980831770588. DOI: 10.1177/2399808317705881.

Kim, A., Levin J. and Botchwey, N. 2017. “Planning with Unauthorized Immigrant Communities: What Can Cities Do?” Journal of Planning Literature. First published date: May-09-2017 10.1177/0885412217698403

Botchwey, N., T. Fisher, M. Trowbridge. (2013). Green Health. Journal of Planning Education Research, in press.

Botchwey, N., Guhathakurta, S., Lee, S. & Leous, A. (forthcoming). Quality of Life and Health in Atlanta. In H. Etienne and B. Faga (editors) Planning Atlanta. Chicago, IL: Planners Press.

Trowbridge, M., T. Huang, N. Botchwey, T. Fisher, C. Pyke, A. Rodgers, R. Ballard-Barbash. (2013). Green Building and Childhood Obesity Prevention: Toward and Integrated ‘Green Health’ Environmental Design Research Framework. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Forthcoming, in press.

Dyjack, D.T., N. Botchwey, E. Marziale. (2013). Cross-sectoral Workforce Development: Examining the Intersection of Public Health and Community DesignJournal of Public Health Management and Practice 19(1): 97-99.

C. Ross, M. Orenstein and N. Botchwey. HIA in the U.S.: Practice, Policy and Legal Underpinnings. In Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) into the Policy Process: Lessons and Experiences from around the World. Oxford University Press. 2012.

Kulbok, P. and N. Botchwey. Promoting Healthy Communities Using Multilevel Participatory Strategies. Chapter 18 in Stanhope and Lancaster (Eds.), Public Health Nursing.  Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier.

N. Botchweyand M. Trowbridge. 2011. “Training the next generation to promote healthy places,” Chapter 23 in H. Frumkin, A. Dannenberg, and R. Jackson, edsMaking Healthy Places: A Built Environment for Health, Well-being and Sustainability.  Island Press.

Boehmer E, R. Smith, M Schoppa, A. Mantsi, G. Motabe, E. Rapopabe, N. Botchwey, G. Louis. 2011. "Water and Health in Limpopo (WHIL): Engaging Communities through Water, Health, and Leadership Education in Limpopo, South Africa." Public.

Schoppa, M., R. Smith, E. Boehmer, E. Rabopape, G. Motabe, A. Mantisi, V. Netshandama, G. Louis, N. Botchwey. 2010. "Bypassing Politics: Education as a Powerful yet Neutral Community Engagement Plan." Virginia Policy Review 4(1): 20-23.

Kulbok, P., V. Bovbjerg, P. Meszaros, N. Botchwey, I. Hinton, N. Anderson, H. Rhee, D. Bond, D. Noonan, K. Hartman. 2010. Mother-Daughter Communication: A Protective Factor for Nonsmoking Among Rural AdolescentsJournal of Addictions Nursing 21(2-3): 69-78.

Cunningham, T., N. Botchwey, R. Dillingham, V. Netshandama, J. Boissevain, K. Firehock, G. Learmonth, and G. Louis. 2009. "Understanding Water Perceptions in Limpopo Province: A Photovoice CommunityAssessment." Environmental Pollution and Public Health, IEEE.

Botchwey, N., S. Hobson, A. Dannenberg, K. Mumford, C. Contant, T. McMillan, R. Jackson, R. Lopez, and C. Winkle. 2009. "A Model Curriculum for a Course on the Built Environment and Public Health: Training for an Interdisciplinary Workforce." American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36(2, Supplement): S63-S71.

Kulbok, P., H. Rhee, N. Botchwey, I. Hinton, V. Bovbjerg, N. Anderson, N. Ruth. 2008. "Factors Influencing Adolescents' Decision Not to Smoke." Public Health Nursing 25(6): 505-515.

Bernheim, R., N. Botchwey, R. Dillingham. 2008. "Intentionality and Integration in Undergraduate Global Public Health Education." Peer Review 10(4): 16-19.

Botchwey, N. 2007. "The Religious Sector"s Presence in Local Community Development." Journal of Planning Education and Research 27(1): 36-48.

Recent Funding

2010-2011, Co-Investigator - NIH/Fogarty International Center/National Institute of Nursing Research (R24) Framework Supplement grant - "Modeling Water Use and Health in Rural South Africa: An Innovative Training Tool"

2009-2011, Co-Investigator - National Institutes of Health/Fogarty International Center (R25) - "Water and Health in Limpopo Framework Program Supplement"                              

2009-2012, Co-Investogator - May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust - "Water Health Environment and Development (WHEAD) in Limpopo"

2009-2012, Co-Investigator - Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation - "Partnering with Rural Youth and Parents to Design and Test a Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use Prevention Program Model"

2008-2011, Jefferson Trust - "Water and Health in Limpopo"

2008-2010, Kelly Family Endowment Gift - "Water and Health in Limpopo"   



Recent Courses

CP 6680 | Citizen Participation

CP 8882 | Public Health and the Built Environment

CP 8823 | Health Impact Assessment 

Recent Theses and Masters Research Paper Supervised

Allegra Churchill (2010) Uncertainty is the grievance: Livelihoods in flux on the Kafue Flats. Master’s of Landscape Architecture Thesis.

Barbara Choo (2010). Systematic Review of the Built Environment and Obesity in African American Adolescents. Master’s of Nursing Option Paper.

Timothy Cunningham (2009). Water in their words: South Africans using Photovoice to discussion and develop remedies toward improved access to clean water. Masters of Nursing Option Paper.  

Malindi Lankatilleke (2008). The Architecture of Community Building: Creating a Mixed-use, Multigenerational, Multifamily, and Mixed Income Community in the Barclay-Greenmount Neighborhood of Baltimore, MD.

John Bell (2008). The effects of the built environment on the prevalence of diabetes in Charlottesville, Virginia by neighborhood. Masters of Public Health Culminating Experience Paper.

Jennifer Harris (2004) Health Disparities and Community Planning. Master’s Option Paper.