City and Urban Design Magazine: Pregnancy Outcomes & Environmental Exposures

Honorable Mention, People's Choice Spring 2021

By: Joanne Haddad, Devika Shenoy, Seth So, Ella Williams

Environmental exposures can negatively impact pregnancy outcomes, could urban design be the solution?

Read on Canva

As our cities expand in both population and in scale, concerns regarding the health of our surrounding environment and our biological health grow as well. A number of these exposures in question exist across various forms and in various spaces: the air we breathe, the amount of heat around us, or even the synthetic chemicals that were developed to improve our lives. In this illustrated magazine, we explore the biosocial phenomena of these simultaneously undetected and salient exposures and how they influence the biological health of pregnant mothers and their children. We also examine how these health outcomes inequitably vary due to a number of factors, namely disparities in who bears the burden of these exposures and in who has access to resources that could help alleviate the adverse impacts. While Black and Latinx mothers tend to experience higher levels of exposure, they are less likely to have access to resources such as green space and medical care. In exploring potential interventions to address this issue, we propose the incorporation of green space into urban planning as a way to reduce levels of exposure and improve pregnancy outcomes. Readers are encouraged to reflect on how they can play a role in addressing this issue, whether it is through advocating for environmental policies or working to reform healthcare.

108 Group project by Devika Shenoy

This magazine really turned out well, it has a richness of detail, it’s engaging and hopeful (love the aptitude test and the various pathways to change), and it takes a complex problem and shows it from many angles. I love that this is an HBS project! –Prof. Kelty

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