Dr. Bryce Lowery will make a presentation on the potential for public policy to influence the built environment to improve well-being and alleviate health disparities observed between neighborhoods. In this talk, he will explore relationships between two physical determinants of health, cannabis dispensaries and food stores, to illustrate ways land use and municipal policy might be employed to address spatial disparities and improve the well-being of communities. While public health and planning researchers and practitioners acknowledge the importance of context, there is still inadequate understanding about how, when, where, and for whom the built environment affects health outcomes.
Dr. Lowery is an associate professor of planning, landscape architecture and design at the University of Oklahoma Gibbs College of Architecture. He teaches geographic information systems for land use planning, land use planning and public policy for cannabis, public health and the built environment, and urban design theory. He researches environmental and socioeconomic influences of neighborhood well-being as well as land use and municipal policies that aim to improve community health. He is particularly intersted in two areas of inquiry: undertanding how availability and access to sources of healthy and unhealthy food contribute to diet related disease and exploring how the spatial arrangement of cannabis dispensaries and advertising influence health related behavior. His research focuses on spatial injustices experienced by rural and low-income neighborhoods as well as Asian, American, Indian, Alaskan Native, Black, and Latine communities. For more inforamation on his work, visit brycelowery.com.