I grew up in Elk Grove, California, which was deemed America's fastest
growing city of more than 100,000 people in 2006. Witnessing rapid
urbanization led to my interest in sustainable community design. My
undergraduate academic experiences understanding the public’s health
through a Human Biology minor, and learning how to guide sustainable
community growth through an Urban Studies major further sparked my
interest in how to design healthy communities. Throughout university
and after graduation, I worked for the California Center for Physical
Activity, a program of the California Department of Health Services,
coordinating the Center's Walk to School, Walkable Community Workshops
and Home Zones projects to promote safe and active lifestyles through
Seeking to build upon my professional experiences promoting community design principles that provide opportunities for physical activity, I am currently a Masters student in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Through the masters degree, I am learning how to analyze health behavior and develop methods to promote healthy community design. I am currently working on a case study on childhood obesity prevention, and also conduct research with the Harvard Prevention Research Center on federal transportation funding and health.
My research interests focus on how to make residential environments healthy, using the example of the woonerf model developed in the Netherlands. Utilizing unique design features such as gateways, shared surfaces, traffic calming measures, landscaping, and visual evidence of neighborhood living can help slow traffic and increase residential social interaction in neighborhoods.
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