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.

Jun 10, 2020

Why COVID-19 Is Hitting Some Communities Harder

COVID-19’s unequal impact on our communities has laid bare stark realities about health, wealth, and housing. As our Healthy Neighborhoods Study has shown – and as the map of COVID-19 infections bears out ­– low-income and people of color face community-level stressors resulting from public health inequities and environmental injustices. These stressors result directly from decades of discriminatory housing policy.  

May 14, 2020

Building Stronger Communities and a Healthier Climate in the Wake of COVID-19

Even as we mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 and absorb the heavy toll it has taken on our economy, we must recognize that the old “normal” left too many communities unhealthy and especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Replicating that old “normal” will squander an opportunity to reduce climate danger while building healthier and more just communities for all.