Jason Corburn is an associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and School of Public Health. He directs the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and the Center for Global Healthy Cities at UC Berkeley. He also coordinates the joint Master of City Planning (MCP) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the links between environmental health and social justice in cities, notions of expertise in science-based policy making, and the role of local knowledge in addressing environmental and public health problems. Professor Corburn’s research and practice works to build partnerships between urban residents, professional scientists and decision-makers in order to collaboratively generate policy and planning solutions that improve the qualities of cities and the well-being of residents, particularly the poor and people of color.
Professor Corburn is currently a leader of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership, a coalition that includes the City of Richmond, California, the Contra Costa County Public Health Department, West County Unified School District and a number of non-profit organizations all working to reduce health inequities in Richmond.
Professor Corburn also co-leads a participatory planning team working to improve the lives of residents in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. The project team, which includes the University of Nairobi, the NGOs, Muungano Support Trust and Pamoja Trust, and Slum Dwellers International. This work has resulted in integrated land use plans and policies aimed at preventing displacement of informal settlement residents, securing land tenure, and improving economic opportunities, infrastructure and environmental health. Jason also works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Social Medicine, the Center for Health Promotion (CEDAPS), and FioCruz, on evaluating the health impacts of policies and programs focused on improving conditions in favelas. Finally, Professor Corburn is researching urban climate justice, or how climate change policies and advocacy institutions can ensure the most vulnerable urban residents benefit from emerging mitigation and adaptation decisions.
Professor Corburn is a 2007 recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His book, Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice (The MIT Press, 2005), won the 2007 Paul Davidoff best book award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). He is also the author of: Toward the Healthy City: People, Places, and the Politics of Urban Planning (MIT Press, 2009); Healthy City Planning: From Neighbourhood to National Health Equity (Routledge, 2013); Healthy Cities: Critical Concepts in the Built Environment (Routledge, 2015). Professor Corburn has held academic appointments at Columbia University and Hunter College, was a fellow at Harvard Law School, and worked as a senior planner with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
October 9, 2020: Race, the power of an Illusion: The house we live in (Berkeley News)
September 25, 2020: How ‘race’ came into being (Berkeley News)
August 13, 2020: Renewing the healing role of public parks (Building Design + Construction)
June 22, 2020: Does city living spread coronavirus? It’s complicated. (Grist)
May 27, 2020: At Lake Merritt, Residents Worry About Crowds — And Public Shaming (KALW)
May 18, 2020: How Smart City Planning Could Slow Future Pandemics (WIRED)
May 10, 2020: Dozens honored for public service, in spirited ceremony (Berkeley News)
May 1, 2020: Are Cities Less Safe In A Public Health Pandemic? (OPB)
April 28, 2002: Huge impact of Covid-19 on people living in urban slums: Study (Times of India)
April 27, 2020: Urban slums are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19. Here’s how to help (Berkeley News)
April 24, 2020: Straight talk: A conversation about racism, health inequities and COVID-19 (Berkeley News)
April 20, 2020: Berkeley Conversations: Equity, health inequities and climate change (Berkeley News)
April 14, 2020: Covid-19 Threatens to Overwhelm India’s Health Care System (Undark)
July 10, 2019: Code Red: The Grim State of Urban Hospitals (U.S. News)
January 1, 2019: Report: Alta Bates closure would critically impact poor, people of color (East Bay Times)
August 19, 2018: Why Hospitals Are Getting Into The Real Estate Business (NPR)
April 19, 2017: Opinion | A Focus on Health to Resolve Urban Ills (New York Times)
January 27, 2017: People’s Park among targeted sites for UC Berkeley student housing (The Daily Californian)
Nov. 15, 2016: Author Book Talk: Jason Corburn and Lee Riley: Slum Health: From the Cell to the Street (UCB Events)
April 14, 2016: Berkeley team to assess impacts of Oakland Unified’s new lunch system (Berkeley News)
January 5, 2012: Pollution, Poverty, and People of Color: 'We Are Richmond' (Environmental Health News)