Built Environment & Public Health
Associate Professor：KOOHSARI Javad
Built Environment, Public Health, Metaverse, Geospatial Health
Home/Office Environment, Virtual Space, Health & Sports Promotion, Green Spaces, Mental Health, Urban Design
Skills and background we are looking for in prospective students
We are always looking for students who have an enthusiasm for conducting ‘interdisciplinary science’ to join our research group. Students from different disciplines are welcome. Basic knowledge of statistics and good English written and oral communication skills are required.
What you can expect to learn in this laboratory
Students who graduate from our research group will acquire an understanding of scientific theories and conduct investigations related to the emerging interdisciplinary field of ‘built environment & public health’. They will be familiar with the necessary methods and techniques in conducting research to produce evidence-based knowledge on how to (re)design physical and virtual environments to support population health. Students will develop their critical thinking and practical skills in statistics (i.e., SPSS, STATA, R software) and spatial data analysis (i.e., ArcMap, QGIS).
【Job category of graduates】 Academic jobs, Consultant companies, Civil servant
Figure 1. Using geospatial techniques in health science (Source of the image: Koohsari, 2020, Calgary, Canada)
The built environment includes built attributes such as houses, shops, work offices, streets, and green spaces that influence individuals’ health. Although modifying the built environment tends to be difficult in the short term, built environment strategies have long-term effects on behaviour and health. There is also growing scientific interest in understanding how the virtual environment influences health and well-being.
Our research focuses on how built (and virtual built) environment and geospatial sciences can contribute to health. Our mission is to provide evidence-based knowledge on (re)designing homes, offices, neighbourhoods and communities in which we live, work, and play to support the health and well-being of people of all ages.
We adopt a socioecological approach to move research in this field by exploring the following issues:
- Investigating pathways through which built environment might influence health outcomes.
- Exploring challenges and opportunities that super-aged communities will have in supporting residents’ health and well-being.
- Understanding the effects of virtual built environment attributes on health.
- Developing new tools to measure built environmental exposures in health studies using geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI).
- Exploring how the metaverse may influence people’s health.
Figure 2. The Built Environment & Health
- Koohsari, M. J., McCormack, G. R., Nakaya, T., Yasunaga, A., Fuller, D., Nagai, Y., & Oka, K. (2023). The Metaverse, the built environment, and public health: Opportunities and uncertainties. Journal of Medical Internet Research.
- Koohsari, M. J., Yasunaga, A., McCormack, G. R., Shibata, A., Ishii, K., Nakaya, T., Hanibuchi, T., Nagai, Y., & Oka, K. (2023). Depression among middle-aged adults in Japan: The role of the built environment design. Landscape & Urban Planning. 231: 104651.
- Koohsari, M. J., McCormack, G. R., Nakaya, T., & Oka, K. (2020). Neighbourhood built environment and cardiovascular disease: Knowledge and future directions. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 17(5): 261-263.
Advanced statistical software, Geospatial software, Virtual Reality Headset
We support students to be active participants in their learning process. This will be accomplished by encouraging students to take an active role in deciding upon, learning about, and leading their research ideas and interests, with considerable support and guidance from us. Students will have regular meetings with their supervisors, who will provide academic advice as necessary.