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How Can Public Health and the Green Building Industry Work Together to Promote Healthy Places?

Systems Change Series: November Lecture

Room 717 

The linkage between health and place is increasingly well established. However, development of strategies to translate this understanding into new practice standards and capacities among professionals like architects, urban planners, and public / private real estate financiers that create the places we live remain in early stages.

In this talk, Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, will share insights from his work exploring one exciting opportunity to help bring healthy place-making to scale: collaboration between public health and the green building industry.

Over the past 20 years, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a leader in the green building movement, has successfully established sustainability as a shared value and focus for all facets of the global real estate industry through a focus on market transformation. For example, since its inception in 2000, the LEED green building certification has been used to certify >80,000 projects and more than 200,000 real estate practitioners have become certified LEED AP professionals. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, UVA and USGBC are working together to develop and launch new health promotion tools for use within LEED and other green building frameworks.

Matthew Trowbridge is a physician, public health researcher, and Associate Professor at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine. Dr. Trowbridge’s academic research focuses on the impact of architecture, urban design, and transportation planning on public health. Dr. Trowbridge is principal investigator for the Green Health Partnership between UVA and the U.S. Green Building Council ( This multi-year initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, seeks to drive increased consideration of health and well-being outcomes within the real estate industry by applying green building principles and tools of market transformation. Dr. Trowbridge is board certified in both general pediatrics and preventive medicine and obtained his medical and public health training at Emory University.

Light refreshments will be served.