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MAPP, School of Public Health Announce Awardees of New Seed Grants

By Allison Eatough ’97

The University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP) and the School of Public Health (SPH) announced today the awardees of their inaugural Healthy Places Seed Grants, a funding program designed to spark innovative research around the challenges of building healthy, equitable communities.

Eight projects led by MAPP, SPH, College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) and College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) faculty received grants through the program, which supports partnerships across UMD to explore the impacts of the built environment on a community’s health outcomes, opportunity and quality of life.

“This funding is an investment, not only in the growing partnership and shared mission between MAPP and the School of Public Health but also in the big ideas that will make healthier, more remarkable places,” said MAPP Dean Dawn Jourdan. “The questions we seek to answer—in our quest to achieve more resilient and just communities—are the same.”

“The communities and spaces we live in impact our health in so many ways,” added SPH Dean Boris Lushniak. “These new seed grants support projects that are crucial to increasing resilience and improving health for vulnerable communities in our region.”

Grants range between $2,500 and $30,000. Awarded projects:

  • Trauma-Informed Practices in Urban Planning for Immigrant Integration: Learning from Health-Related Disciplines: Clara Irazábal (MAPP), Elizabeth Aparicio (SPH), Nohely Alvarez (MAPP)
  • All of the Heights: Exploring Spatial Memory in the Experiences of Community Members in The Heights Neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. and Maryland Impacted by Migration and Gentrification: Georgeanne Matthews (MAPP), Rabiatu Barrie (SPH)
  • Gentrification and Displacement in the Purple Line Corridor: Nicholas Finio (MAPP), Casey Dawkins (MAPP), Shuling Wu (SPH)
  • Art, Equity and Building Community Trust: A Pilot Project to Address Displacement along the Purple Line Corridor: Sheila Somashekhar (MAPP), Stephen Thomas (SPH) Jane Hirshberg (ARHU)
  • Improving Park Safety and Building Healthier Communities: An In-depth Comparison of Crime-Hot and Crime-Cold Parks in Urban Baltimore: Lauren Porter (BSOS), Elaine Doherty (SPH), Chester Harvey (MAPP)
  • Lines in Space: Molding et al: Lindsey May (MAPP)
  • Seeing Blinds: Architecture for Avian Landscapes: Michael Ezban (MAPP)
  • Community Hub—From Neighborhood School to UCAP Headquarters: Jennifer Xu (MAPP)

The Healthy Places Seed Grant program builds on a growing partnership and emerging research collaborations between the two schools, including a dual Master of Community Planning/Master of Public Health degree, an ongoing water quality study in Baltimore between Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Marccus Hendricks, Postdoctoral Associate Priscila Alves and SPH Assistant Professor Rachel Rosenberg Goldstein, and a new UMD initiative to address environmental racism and climate change in the mid-Atlantic, led by SPH Professor Sacoby Wilson and the MAPP Environmental Finance Center’s Jennifer Cotting.

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