Oct 28, 2022

New Study Reveals Community Ownership over Urban Development Linked to Greater Physical and Mental Health

“Widespread gentrification and neighborhood changes are clearly impacting the health of longtime residents,” said Reann Gibson, an HNS Research Scientist at Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). “Decades of redlining and racism have affected communities of color, and now gentrifying development is threatening these neighborhoods all over again. The study’s findings are yet one more reason why people must have power over the changes that could profoundly alter their communities.”

Healthy Neighborhood Study resident researchers.
Aug 30, 2021

“Invisible Train” of Gentrification and Displacement Forcing People Further from Their Neighborhoods

“We aren’t just seeing moves. We’re seeing forced moves that are caused by social and economic forces which create ripple effects in communities,” said Reann Gibson, Senior Research Fellow at Conservation Law Foundation and manager of the Healthy Neighborhoods Study. “It’s so important to listen to residents to deepen our understanding of their lived experiences, to identify the data that best captures those experiences, and to interpret the findings in a way that truly demonstrates the impact of displacement on health and wellbeing. We must now use this data to enact real change in these neighborhoods.” 

May 24, 2021

All Communities Deserve A “Cool and Green” COVID Recovery

Like COVID-19, severe heat waves are not an equal opportunity health threat. The most disinvested neighborhoods — those dominated by buildings, pavement, and parking lots — are hit the hardest. The built environment of these places absorbs and traps heat, creating a “heat island effect” that makes them dangerously hotter than other neighborhoods while worsening their air quality.

Nov 17, 2020

How to Move Beyond Environmental Justice as a Trend

I grew up in communities that needed environmental justice the most. I also lived in neighborhoods that already had the resources and ability to make change. Still, I didn’t understand the difference or know what the environmental world called the movement until later in life. I could only connect the dots when I had more access to education and a framework for understanding the issue.

Protest sign reads: Listen to our voices
Jul 21, 2020

A Participatory Action Research Field Guide from the Healthy Neighborhoods Study

This Field Guide describes how the partners in the Healthy Neighborhoods Study do research in 9 communities in Greater Metropolitan Boston. The project uses the Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, which is grounded in the idea that the people who are most impacted by a problem are in the best position to understand and solve that problem. After years of research together, we wrote this guide for other communities interested in Participatory Action Research.

A Participatory Action Research Field Guide from the Healthy Neighborhoods Study
Jul 14, 2020

Communities of color hit hardest by heat waves

Like COVID-19, severe heat waves are not an “equal opportunity” health threat. The most disinvested neighborhoods — those dominated by buildings, pavement, and parking lots — are hit the hardest. The built environment of these places absorbs and traps heat, creating a “heat island effect” that makes them dangerously hotter than other neighborhoods while worsening their air quality.