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Improving the health of people in and around cities, especially those most vulnerable, with information on strategies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change.

Environmental Justice & Health

Low-income communities often are exposed to more pollution than other communities, and bear greater health burdens from that pollution.

Green Spaces & Health

Planting more plants and trees in cities—where most people live—can cool urban areas and prevent harm from heat. Spending more time surrounded by green space, like trees or other vegetation, may improve mental and physical health.

Healthy Buildings

The air we breathe in our homes and offices can have a major impact on our overall health.

Healthy Homes

Indoor air quality in the home can be an important driver of health. In homes near major current and former industrial sites, however, indoor air can be deeply polluted.

Healthy Schools

School buildings and dormitories can have an impact on both students’ health and their ability to learn.

Transportation & Health

New studies from Harvard Chan School have found that long-term exposure to even low levels of air pollution, like those found near highways or busy city streets affects our health.

TRECH Project Research Update on Health Benefits of TCI Policy Scenarios

Exploring how different transportation policies could influence health through better air quality and increases in physical activity.

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Many More People Live Closer To Underground Gas Storage Wells Than Previously Thought

An estimated 20,000 homes and 53,000 people in predominantly suburban areas of PA, OH, WV, MI, NY, and CA live within a city block of active underground natural gas storage wells.

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Study: Climate change-related heat waves could kill thousands in cities

New research suggests that thousands could die from heat waves in major U.S. cities if swift action isn’t taken to curb rising global temperatures. Researchers estimated the number of heat-related deaths that might occur in 15 U.S. cities under various climate scenarios, according to a June 16, 2019 NBC News article. Under one scenario, with…

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Philanthropic Impact: Login5 Foundation Supports Food Sustainability and Green Building Initiatives

The Login5 Foundation gave $1.5 million to the School to launch the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) calculator, an open-access online tool that city planners and developers can use to measure energy cost savings, emission reductions, and health benefits of green buildings compared with conventional buildings.

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Harnessing Big Data

Medicine and public health are constantly evolving as research and technology open the doors to new ways to treat or prevent diseases. Randomized trials are the best way to assess what works. But when that’s not possible, people like Miguel Hernán, Kolokotrones Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, try to replicate those trials using vast amounts…

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Understanding Chronic Metabolic Diseases

The increased global incidence of chronic metabolic diseases—including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular and liver diseases—has become one of the greatest global health threats of the 21st century. To tackle this crisis, Murat Ülker, a leading entrepreneur in Istanbul, contributed $24 million to the Harvard Chan School in 2014 on behalf of the Ülker family to…

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House Dust in Mining-Impacted Communities May Impact Children's Health

Young children are a particular concern because early exposures to metals commonly found at mining sites are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits.

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Does it feel better to work in a green building?

Environmental perceptions and health before and after relocation to a green building.

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Green Buildings and Health

The state of evidence on green building design as it relates to human health. 

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The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function

Do we work smarter in green buildings?

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Research Predicts Large Public Health Benefits From Transportation Cap-and-Trade Program

A regional “cap and trade” scheme to reduce pollution from transportation could save over 1,000 lives.

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Saving Melnea Cass Boulevard — and a neighborhood

In a letter to the editor, our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein argues for more green space in one of the hottest spots in the city.

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The Climate Project: Your Role, Your Impact

We are all feeling the effects of climate change, but communities of color are feeling them harder and faster. Our Director Dr. Ari Bernstein talks about how we got here.

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Preventing a transportation ‘relapse’

Harvard Chan School's Aaron Bernstein would like to see reduced traffic and air pollution—a by-product of COVID shutdowns—continue.

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‘Toxic Stew’ Stirred Up by Disasters Poses Long-Term Danger, New Findings Show

The toxic substances released into our water and air during natural disasters “are much more long-lasting and ubiquitous than I think people realize,” says our Director Gina McCarthy.

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By 2100, Mass. Could Have 26 Days A Year That Feel Hotter Than 100 Degrees

Our Co-director Dr. Aaron Bernstein on what we can expect, and how we can protect ourselves, as climate changes health.

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Urban Air Pollution Solutions

Our research associate, Jonathan Buonocore, collaborated with the USAID to develop a guide on air pollution solutions.

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Without swift action on climate change, heat waves could kill thousands in U.S. cities

As global temperatures rise, so could the amount of fatal heat waves in major U.S. cities, according to new research. Our Co-director Aaron Bernstein weighs in.

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Harvard study uses new method to show how close residents live to Aliso Canyon-type wells

Study finds 20,000 homes and 53,000 people in predominantly suburban areas of PA, OH, WV, MI, NY, and CA live within a city block of active underground natural gas storage wells.

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Rubber playground surfaces may contain high lead levels

Researchers tested lead levels in the soil, sand, mulch or rubber surface materials in 28 playgrounds and found the rubber surfaces often averaged two or three times the lead levels of the other materials.

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Dr. Aaron Bernstein

Aaron Bernstein MD, MPH

Aaron examines the human health effects of global environmental changes with the aim of promoting a deeper understanding of these subjects among students, educators, policy makers, and the public.

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Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy

A leading advocate for smart, successful strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years.

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