Across America, billions of dollars are being invested in the built environment - specifically in housing and transportation. These investments determine the type of communities that we live in and the opportunities we are afforded. They are, as Rajiv Bhatia states it, "social policies in concrete." In this segment, we will argue that policies around the built environment are also "health policies in concrete." Dr. Richard Jackson will give us an overview of how investments in housing and transportation have deep implications for health equity. Dr. Rajiv Bhatia will offer housing, transportation, and health practitioners policy tools to improve the impact of planning and development decisions on community health. An example of an innovative partnership to build more transit oriented affordable housing will follow - The San Francisco Foundation Community Development Program Director Vanitha Venugopal will discuss The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC), the Bay Area's model transit oriented development network. A specific focus will be given to the GCC's instrumental role in catalyzing the Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) fund, a $50 million partnership public private partnership. Asian Health Services Director of Planning and Development Julia Liou will also highlight the innovative, neighborhood-level collaborations where health promotion has been at the center of their housing and transportation planning.


Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH

Professor and Chair, Environmental Health Sciences

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

  • Professor, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles,

Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles.

He is former California State Health Officer and for nine years was the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s…

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Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH

Director, Occupational and Environmental Health

San Francisco Department of Public Health

San Francisco, CA

Rajiv Bhatia has served as the Director of Occupational and Environmental Health for the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 1998. Trained in medicine, epidemiology, and environmental health, he has developed and implemented environmental health policy for San Francisco and broadened his agency’s environmental health practice to extend to…

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Vanitha Venugopal, MCRP

Program Director, Community Development and Investment

The San Francisco Foundation

San Francisco, CA

Vanitha Venugopal has worked in the field for more than two decades, as an urban planner, facilities and policy analyst, and legislative aide. Most recently, she served as a senior program officer for community revitalization at the Surdna Foundation, a national family Foundation based in New York City.

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Julia Liou, MPH

Director, Program Planning and Development

Asian Health Services, Alameda County

Oakland, CA

Julia Liou, MPH is the Director of Program Planning and Development for the Asian Health Services of Alameda County, overseeing program planning, grants, manages various community projects, and coordinates the agency’s strategic planning efforts. She currently leads a community engagement project related to the City of Oakland’s Lake Merritt Specific…

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Sandra R. Hernández, MD

President and Chief Executive Officer

California HealthCare Foundation

San Francisco, CA

Dr. Sandra R. Hernández became president and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation in January 2014. CHCF is an independent foundation with assets of more than $700 million, headquartered in Oakland, California, and dedicated to improving the health of the people of California. Prior to joining CHCF, Hernández was…

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Presentation Slides


Date Published: Saturday, October 1, 2011

Designing Healthy Communities

Date Published: Friday, September 26, 2014

Episode 3: Social Policy in Concrete