Environmental policy & planning; environmental health; urban environmental justice; social & spatial epidemiology; health impact assessment; science & technology studies; social theory; environmental dispute resolution.
- Ph.D. and M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Post-doc, Epidemiology, Columbia University
- B.A., Brandeis University
Jason Corburn is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and School of Public Health. He directs the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and the Center for Global Healthy Cities at UC Berkeley. He also coordinates 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 a leader of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership, a coalition that includes the City of Richmond, California, the Contra Costa County Public Health Department, West County Unified School District and a number of non-profit organizations all working to reduce health inequities in Richmond.
Professor Corburn also co-leads a participatory planning team working to improve the lives of residents in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. The project team, which includes the University of Nairobi, the NGOs, Muungano Support Trust and Pamoja Trust, and Slum Dwellers International. This work has resulted in 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. Jason also works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Social Medicine, the Center for Health Promotion (CEDAPS), and FioCruz, on evaluating the health impacts of policies and programs focused on improving conditions in favelas. Finally, Professor Corburn is researching urban climate justice, or how climate change policies and advocacy institutions can ensure the most vulnerable urban residents benefit from emerging mitigation and adaptation decisions.
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). He is also the author of: Toward the Healthy City: People, Places, and the Politics of Urban Planning (MIT Press, 2009); Healthy City Planning: From Neighbourhood to National Health Equity (Routledge, 2013); Healthy Cities: Critical Concepts in the Built Environment (Routledge, 2015); Slum Health: From the Cell to the Street (UC Press, 2016). 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.
- Courses Taught
CY PLAN 256/PH233 Healthy Cities
CY PLAN 251 Environmental Policy and Regulation
CY PLAN 254 Sustainable Communities
PB HLTH 267 Health Impact Assessment: Nairobi Studio
PH150e: Community Health
- Awards + Recognition
- 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, Community Engaged Teaching, UC Berkeley
- 2016 “Street Science,” 4th most frequently read book at Brandeis University
- 2015 Chancellor’s Community Leaders Award, Richmond Health in All Policies
- 2013 United Nations Association, Global Citizen Award
- 2007 Paul Davidoff Award, ACSP
- Selected Publications
Corburn, J. Curl, S., and Arredondo, G and Malagon, J. 2015. Making Health Equity Planning Work: A Relational Approach in Richmond, California. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 35(3): 265–281.
Corburn, J. 2015. City Planning as Preventive Medicine. Preventive Medicine. 77:48-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.04.022
Corburn, J. and Hildebrand, C. 2015. Slum Sanitation and the Social Determinants of Women’s Health in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. doi:10.1155/2015/209505
2013. Urban health equity in all policies: a new science for the city. www.guardian.co.uk. March 18.
2012. Why We Need Urban Health Equity Indicators (w. A. Cohen). PLOS Medicine. 9(8): e1001285. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001285.
2011.Lessons from San Francisco: Health Impact Assessments Have Advanced Political Conditions for Improving Population Health. (w. R. Bhatia). Health Affairs. 30 (12):2410-2418.
2009. Cities, Climate Change and Urban Heat Island Mitigation: Localising Global Environmental Science. Urban Studies. 46(2) 413–427.
2008. (w. S. Cashman, S. Adeky, A. Allen, B. Israel, J.Montaño, A.Rafelito, S. Rhodes, S. Swanston, N. Wallerstein, and E. Eng). The Power and the Promise: Working With Communities to Analyze Data, Interpret Findings, and Get to Outcomes. American Journal of Public Health. 98 (8).
2008. (w/L. Farhang, R. Bhatia, C. Comerford Scully, M. Gaydos and S. Malekafzali). Creating Tools for Healthy Development: Case Study of San Francisco’s Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment. Journal of Public Health Management Practice. 14(3), 255–265.
2007. (with R. Bhatia). Health impact assessment in San Francisco: Incorporating the social determinants of health into environmental planning. Journal of Environmental Planning & Management. 50 (3): 323 – 341.
2007. Reconnecting with our roots: American urban planning and public health in the 21st century. Urban Affairs Review. 42: 688-713.
2007. Community knowledge in environmental health science: Co-producing policy expertise. Environmental Science and Policy. 10:150-161.
2007. Urban Land Use, Air Toxics and Public Health: Assessing hazardous exposures at the neighborhood scale. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 27:145-160.
2006. (with Jeff Osleeb and Michael Porter). Urban Asthma and Neighborhood Characteristics in New York City. Health and Place. 12:167-179.
2005. Urban Planning and Health Disparities: Implications for Research and Practice. Planning Practice and Research 20; 2:111-126.
2004. Confronting the Challenges in Reconnecting Urban Planning and Public Health. American Journal of Public Health 94:541-546.
2003. Bringing Local Knowledge into Environmental Decision-Making: Improving Urban Planning for Communities at Risk. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 22:420-433
2002. Combining Community-Based Research and Local Knowledge to Confront Asthma and Subsistence-Fishing Hazards in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Environmental Health Perspectives. 110;4:241-248.
2002. Environmental Justice, Local Knowledge and Risk: The Discourse of a Community-Based Cumulative Exposure Assessment. Environmental Management 29; 4: 451- 466.