Frontline Community Partnerships

Climate change and pollution affect some populations more severely than others, and the disparities are often stark. Our urban planning and public health researchers are working with frontline communities to understand the consequences of carbon emissions for health, as well as the challenges and opportunities behind decarbonization strategies. The research team uses community-based participatory research methods, including surveys, photovoice, and storytelling to center the experiences of impacted communities. The project partners, which include the City of Austin, the Austin Independent School District, and the nonprofit EcoRise will then use these data to pursue small-scale greening projects; inform larger-scale climate mitigation initiatives; and shape environmental education curriculum and workforce development strategies.



Team Members

Carmen Valdez
Social Work
Tasha Banks
Community Engagement and Health Equity
Bjørn Sletto
Keffrelyn Brown
Curriculum and Instruction
Sergio Castellanos
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Yasmiyn Irizarry
African and African Diaspora Studies


March 1, 2023
Prescription for a Healthier Future: Climate Justice
More than 80% of our health is impacted by social determinants — where we live, work, eat and play. And the “live” part is crucial: Everything from air quality, access to healthy food and health care, and economic stability have an outsize impact on a person’s ability to get and stay well. But what happens when climate change begins to threaten those things?