We held a seminar with speakers Barbara Israel and Tamsin Mitchell. Exposure to air pollution is linked to asthma and cardiovascular and respiratory disease, lost work and school days, and adverse birth outcomes. Air pollution is a long-standing concern for residents in Detroit, Michigan, who disproportionately experience high rates of environmentally-related diseases, especially those living in poverty and people of color. How can academics and communities partner to tackle these issues and improve the health outcomes of communities? Watch the video.


Community Approaches to Promoting Healthy Environments (CAPHE) is a partnership between academic, community and government organisations aimed at developing and implementing a multilevel and scientifically-informed public health action plan designed to reduce adverse effects of air pollution on health. The purpose of this seminar is to look at the equitable engagement of community and academic partners in all phases of research and action. Barbara Israel will discuss the definition and key principles of a partnership approach to research; findings related to air pollution exposure and health impact; translation of findings into a public health action plan; implementation of policy and practice solutions to reduce pollutant exposure and mitigate negative health effects; and evaluation results of the process and impact of this work. She will look at the lessons learned and recommendations for conducting collaborative research that ensures that community residents have a substantial voice in efforts to promote health equity will be provided.

Tamsin Mitchell of Greater Wellington Regional Council will provide an overview of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s outdoor air quality monitoring programme and present key findings on the levels of air pollutants from traffic and home fires in our region.

Presentations (PDF)




  • Barbara Israel is Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, and Director, Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC). She is involved in several community-based participatory research partnerships affiliated with the Detroit URC, for example, examining and addressing the social and physical environmental determinants of cardiovascular disease and childhood asthma, the impact of poor air quality on health status, and the translation of research findings into policy change.
  • Tamsin Mitchell is an environmental scientist at GWRC and her background is in environmental health. She has a special interest in the impacts of home fires on air quality.

This seminar took place on 9 May 2018 at City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.

For more information please contact libby.grant@otago.ac.nz.

Behaviour Change Health Transport