Health planning researcher Nisha Botchwey will become Associate Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. She will join the faculty in January, coming most recently from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where she taught undergraduate and graduate community development and health courses, and conducted interdisciplinary research with faculty in the Schools of Nursing, Medicine and Engineering.
Botchwey works to develop methods to revitalize health in communities where the physical and social environments do not enable people to maximize their lives. Recently, her research has emphasized the role of local faith-based and secular organizations in revitalization.
“As obesity, asthma and heart disease have grown more common in industrial countries, public health officials have turned attention to the ways in which urban form influences physical activity,” said Bruce Stiftel, chair of the Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning. “Associate Professor Botchwey will help us better prepare future city planners to design cities that encourage physical activity and reduce pollution exposure.”
Botchwey has authored or co-authored four book chapters and eight refereed journal articles, appearing in IEEE, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the Journal of Planning Education and Research, among others.
Among her awards is an honorable mention from the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board for The 5-Minute Walk, a communication platform developed to convey the value and necessary features of walkable communities to decision makers and the general public.
Botchwey has served as a member of the Governing Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and as a member of the Research Committee on Design and Health of the National Academy for Environmental Design.
She received an AB in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, a Masters and PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Virginia.