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Jason Corburn is an associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and a member of the Global Metropolitan Studies initiative at UC Berkeley. He co-directs the joint Master of City Planning (MCP) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the links between environmental health and social justice in cities, notions of expertise in science-based policy making, and the role of local knowledge in addressing environmental and public health problems. Professor Corburn’s research and practice works to build partnerships between urban residents, professional scientists and decision-makers in order to collaboratively generate policy and planning solutions that improve the qualities of cities and the well-being of residents, particularly the poor and people of color.
Professor Corburn is currently working with the City of Richmond, California, the Contra Costa County Public Health Department, and a number of non-profit organizations to help implement a set of “healthy city planning” projects and develop a set of healthy city indicators, all aimed at reducing health inequities. He is also working in the South Bronx with a number of local organizations to stop the siting of a jail in the community and to generate development alternatives that promote human health, job creation and environmental quality.
Professor Corburn is also part of a participatory planning team working to improve the lives of residents in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. The project team, which includes the University of Nairobi and Pamoja Trust, a local non-governmental organization, is drafting integrated land use plans and policies aimed at preventing displacement of informal settlement residents, securing land tenure, and improving economic opportunities, infrastructure and environmental health. He is also researching how city climate change action plans are altering urban governance, particularly as global science is “localized” for metropolitan areas.
Professor Corburn is a 2007 recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His book, Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice (The MIT Press, 2005), won the 2007 Paul Davidoff best book award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Professor Corburn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Health Impact Assessment Collaborative. He has received research support for his work from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Workgroup on Citizen Engagement in Health Emergency Planning and a recipient of the National Environmental Leadership Program Award. Professor Corburn has held academic appointments at Columbia University and Hunter College, was a fellow at Harvard Law School, and worked as a senior planner with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
Sustaining Cities: Environment, Economic Development, and Empowerment
as author at MIT World Series: Changing Cities: Celebrating 75 Years of Planning Better Futures at MIT,
together with: Judith Layzer, J. Phillip Thompson, Christopher Zegras, Adil Najam, Lawrence J. Vale (moderator),