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.  An expert in health and the built environment as well as community engagement, she holds graduate degrees in both urban planning and public health.  Dedicated to effective pedagogy, Dr. Botchwey spent eight years as a professor at the University of Virginia, jointly appointed to the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and the Department of Public Health Sciences, before arriving at Georgia Tech.

Dr. Botchwey has published and researched widely, and currently focuses on topics including health and the built environment, public engagement methodologies, faith-based and secular organizations, and health equity.  She is co-author of Health Impact Assessment in the USA (in press), convener of a national expert panel on interdisciplinary workforce training between the public health and community design fields, and author of numerous articles.  Dr. Botchwey has won distinctions including an NSF ADVANCE Woman of Excellence Faculty Award, a Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellowship from Georgia Tech, and a Rockefeller-Penn Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing. She also serves on the Advisory Board to the Director of the Centers of Disease Control Prevention and is co-Director of the National Academy of Environmental Design's Research Committee.

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


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
  • 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, eds. Making 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 Adolescents. Journal 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.