Building Healthy Environments and Climate Resiliency (Track 2)

All times are in Eastern Time (ET)

Where we live impacts our health. Our environment can determine whether we have higher health risks from disease or injury. And for many communities, the effects of climate change exacerbate existing environmental health challenges.

Topics explored in this track include the built environment and safe neighborhoods, climate adaption solutions, environmental justice, toxicants, water quality, safe and healthy housing, and food systems.

Advancing Health Equity through Civic Engagement

Concurrent Sessions 1: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm, Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Public health has a role in educating and empowering community members to register to vote and participate in elections as a way to improve representation in a process that determines the policies that shape the conditions of our lives. We can advance health equity by strengthening civic participation and improving access to the ballot. This session will explore the relationship between civic participation and individual and community health outcomes and identify strategies to visualize data, create a narrative, and lead campaigns to register and engage voters.

Building Resilient Food Systems in Local Communities: Lessons from the Ojibwe

Concurrent Sessions 2: 10:30 am-11:45 am, Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This methodologically diverse panel investigates community-based food production, relationships to national and global food systems, and culturally appropriate climate resilience. Analysts with the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission describe efforts to incorporate wild-harvested traditional foods into federal food regulatory regimes and culturally appropriate resilience planning. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics then evaluate normative arguments for increased local control over food production and distribution in US communities.

Understanding Evictions and the Impact on Public Health and Policy Development in the United States

Concurrent Sessions 3: 12:00 pm-1:15 pm, Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This session will highlight the impact evictions can have on public health outcomes. It will include an examination of eviction processes in cities across the country, including the role that nuisance laws play in driving evictions. It will also examine how a deeper understanding of the health impacts of evictions can inform policy development, using the emerging strategy of Proactive Rental Inspection Programs as an example.

Ubiquitous Externalities: The Environmental Injustice of Single-Use Plastic Tobacco Waste

Concurrent Sessions 4: 3:00 pm-4:15 pm, Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Toxic trash is choking our oceans and the nation’s poorest communities. The tobacco and single-use plastics industries tirelessly invent new products that create more severe problems for regulators and institutions like schools. This session will describes how plastic and tobacco product waste problems are impacting water quality and creating environmental injustice, and will propose solutions like adaptation (storm water management), traditional environmental law (hazardous waste compliance), and policies to tackle trash and health equity (sales prohibitions and regulation).

Policy Approaches to Mitigate Health Risks due to Climate Change Influenced Extreme Weather

Concurrent Sessions 5: 4:30 pm-5:45 pm, Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Climate change is a major public health challenge because of its multi-dimensional influence on physical, biological, and ecological systems. Climate change has been correlated to increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather. This session will explore the connections between extreme weather and health. Session presenters will describe strategies to engage public health and emergency management entities along with opportunities to leverage existing U.S. laws through revised policies to mitigate the health consequences of climate change.

Using Strategic Foresight and Scenarios in Policy Development for Climate Adaptation and Resiliency in Public Health

Concurrent Sessions 6: 10:00 am-11:15 am, Thursday, September 23, 2021

New data, IPCC reports, the disastrous California wildfire season, and COVID-19 have highlighted the urgency of the climate crisis and its effects on communities and their health. This session will highlight opportunities for communities to pursue regulatory approaches to address the health effects of climate change and build resiliency within their community. These opportunities also allow communities to address issues related to social and structural barriers to health equity while adapting to climate change.

Strategies for Increasing Health Equity While Addressing Climate Change Across Sectors and in the Built and Natural Environments

Concurrent Sessions 7: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm, Thursday, September 23, 2021

Climate change adversely affects poor and marginalized communities, making them most likely to suffer the greatest losses and have the least ability to recover from the impacts of climate change. Addressing climate change represents an opportunity to improve community health and resilience through measures that reduce inequities and increase power over resources and decision-making. This session will examine local, state, and federal interventions in housing, land use, agriculture, energy, transportation, forestry, and workforce development that simultaneously mitigate climate change and increase health equity.

Translating Public Health Insights into Policy Action

Concurrent Sessions 8: 2:30 pm-3:45 pm, Thursday, September 23, 2021

Drawing on examples ranging from flame retardants to electricity grid design, session presenters will describe efforts to reshape policy in response to insights about public health impacts, including impacts arising from—or amplified by—climate change.