Web Forum

The Built Environment: Health Policy in Concrete
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific

Across America, billions of dollars are being invested in the built environment - specifically in housing and transportation. These investments determine the type of communities that we live in and the opportunities we are afforded. They are, as Rajiv Bhatia states it, "social policies in concrete." In this segment, we will argue that policies around the built environment are also "health policies in concrete." Dr. Richard Jackson will give us an overview of how investments in housing and transportation have deep implications for health equity. Dr. Rajiv Bhatia will offer housing, transportation, and health practitioners policy tools to improve the impact of planning and development decisions on community health. An example of an innovative partnership to build more transit oriented affordable housing will follow - The San Francisco Foundation Community Development Program Director Vanitha Venugopal will discuss The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC), the Bay Area's model transit oriented development network. A specific focus will be given to the GCC's instrumental role in catalyzing the Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) fund, a $50 million partnership public private partnership. Asian Health Services Director of Planning and Development Julia Liou will also highlight the innovative, neighborhood-level collaborations where health promotion has been at the center of their housing and transportation planning.







    Richard J Jackson, MD, MPH
    Professor and Chair
    Environmental Health Sciences
    Institute of the Environment & Sustainability
    Urban Planning
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Richard J Jackson, MD, MPHRichard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles.

    He is former California State Health Officer and for nine years was the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta. (www.ph.ucla.edu/ehs, www.environment.ucla.edu, publicaffairs.ucla.edu/urban-planning, and www.ucla.edu)

    Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH
    Director of Occupational and Environmental Health
    San Francisco Department of Public Health
    San Francisco, CA

    Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPHRajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH has served as the Director of Occupational and Environmental Health for the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 1998. Trained in medicine, epidemiology, and environmental health, he has developed and implemented environmental health policy for San Francisco and broadened his agency’s environmental health practice to extend to labor rights, working conditions, housing design, land use and transportation policy and planning, and community foods resources. (www.sfdph.org/dph/EH)

    Vanitha Venugopal, MCRP
    Program Director
    Community Development and Investment
    The San Francisco Foundation
    San Francisco, CA

    Vanitha Venugopal, MCRPVanitha Venugopal has worked in the field for more than two decades, as an urban planner, facilities and policy analyst, and legislative aide. Most recently, she served as a senior program officer for community revitalization at the Surdna Foundation, a national family Foundation based in New York City. (www.sff.org/programs/community-development)

    Julia Liou, MPH
    Director of Program Planning and Development
    Asian Health Services
    Alameda County
    Oakland, CA

    Julia Liou, MPHJulia Liou, MPH is the Director of Program Planning and Development for the Asian Health Services of Alameda County, overseeing program planning, grants, manages various community projects, and coordinates the agency’s strategic planning efforts. She currently leads a community engagement project related to the City of Oakland’s Lake Merritt Specific Planning process, which seeks to ensure community input, vision, and ideas into this proposed transit oriented development planning process. (www.asianhealthservices.org)


    Sandra R. Hernández, MD
    Chief Executive Officer
    The San Francisco Foundation
    San Francisco, CA

    Sandra R. Hernández, MDSandra R. Hernández, M.D., is chief executive officer of The San Francisco Foundation, the community foundation serving the Bay Area since 1948, with $1.1 billion in assets, granting $860 million over the past ten years in the areas of Arts and Culture, Community Development, Community Health, Education, and the Environment.

    Prior to becoming CEO of the Foundation, Dr. Hernández served as the director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. She is an assistant clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and maintains an active clinical practice at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic. (www.sff.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Jackson/University of California, Los Angeles

Bhatia/San Francisco Department of Public Health


Venugopal/The San Francisco Foundation

Liou/Asian Health Services




Yancey/Instant Recess Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time

Order "Designing Healthy Communities" (hardcover or e-book) directly from Wiley and save 20%! Use code W12CH at checkout.
Link: http://www.josseybass.com/go/jackson


The following provides important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Designing Healthy Communities
Episode 3: Social Policy in Concrete (preview)

Episode 3: Social Policy in Concrete from MPC on Vimeo.

Retrieved from: http://designinghealthycommunities.org/


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Human Impact Partners
The San Francisco Bay Area Health Impact Assessment Collaborative
San Francisco Department of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley Health Impact Group


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo The California Endowment

Public Health Institute

The California Endowment

The San Francisco Foundation

The San Francisco Foundation