Neighborhood Greenness and Alzheimer’s Disease in 249,405 U.S. Medicare Beneficiaries
Scott Brown, PhD is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment in the University of Miami School of Architecture.He has an interest in the impacts of neighborhood built (physical) and social environments on residents’ health and well-being across the lifespan. He is Project Director of the UM Built Environment, Behavior and Health Research Group, and for 15 years, has led cross-sectoral, cross-disciplinary federally-funded research studies (NIH, HUD, CDC) to understand those built (physical) environmental policies and strategies that promote health for the most vulnerable residents (i.e., elders; the poor), particularly those at risk for physical inactivity, social isolation, and behavioral health problems. He is Co-Leader of one of 11 inaugural teams selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design+Health Research Consortium, and is PI on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant examining health impacts of greening (tree-planting) initiatives in low-income Miami neighborhoods. As Principal Investigator on a US HUD grant, he published the first study to link block-level greenness (vegetative presence) to lower risk of chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes; hypertension), using data on ~250,000 Medicare beneficiaries. He participated in 3 NIH grants (as Co-PI, Project Director, or Investigator) on built environment (e.g., land-use mix such as stores near homes; “eyes on the street” features such as porches) and Hispanics’ health. His research findings are described in the US EPA’s Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging; and the Active Design Miami guidelines. The overarching goal of Brown’s research is to inform policies pertaining to the built environment to enhance health in the most underserved populations and communities. Most recently, he presented his research findings (see below) linking higher levels of neighborhood greenness (e.g., tree canopy; parks) to lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease at the ‘Developing Topics” session of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Chicago, in July 2018.
EPA Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging (See Page 5 of report)