Simmons College and University of Louisville partner on healthy neighborhoods project

What characteristics of a neighborhood contribute to the health of its residents – or reduce it?

The University of Louisville and Simmons College of Kentucky are embarking on a new project to answer that question and discover how changing a place can improve the health of its residents. A $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will fund an 18-month study to identify the features all neighborhoods should have in order to promote the health of all residents.

Researchers from Simmons’ Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. Center for Racial Justice and UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, along with urban studies expert Michael Emerson of Rice University and legal scholar Shavonnie Carthens of the University of Kentucky, will survey residents of two Louisville neighborhoods, review existing data on environmental factors that affect health and consider legal aspects of neighborhood development, all with the goal of defining a “universal basic neighborhood” (UBN). A universal basic neighborhood is one that has all the necessary community assets that help residents thrive in their place.

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