Students worked with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and focused their attention on South River’s Census Tract 69 where there are significant inequities in life expectancy and other health issues. The report concluded that community has a “Water Story” that explains much of the inequity.
Committed to the themes of health in all policies, healthy communities, the culture of health, and active design, the Bloustein School intertwines these topics through the planning, policy, and health curricula. In September 2019, a group of faculty and staff developed a series of courses that would highlight the various themes and enable students to showcase the interconnected nature of the school’s disciplines.
Over the course of several months, faculty members guided a graduate planning studio, a graduate policy practicum, two design classes, and an independent study around these topics. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the spring, students completed significant deliverables for clients, which are featured here.
Future courses will also incorporate the themes into the school’s newest degree program, urban and public informatics.
Health in All Policies
Graduate students prepared a Healthy Homes Initiative for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Focusing on the cities of Paterson and Newark, the team identified multiple mental and physical health issues that arise from inadequate housing.
Culture of Health
Graduate planning student Markian Borkowsky prepared a plan for the Boston Regional Connector and Neuron Station. The innovative design encourages a culture of health by linking improved transit and environmental interactions with preventive and health care.
Drawing upon real-world urban development issues to provoke discussion of today’s community development challenges, students gained an understanding of how sustainable communities have long term benefits to the economy, public health and the natural environment by designing redevelopment sites to achieve community health.
Undergraduate students working prepared a comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, addressing economic, environmental, public health, and sustainability issues for both the redevelopment of the BNY and the surrounding community.