WEBINAR – Rooted in Research: Greening Cities for Health, Safety, and Well-Being

Hosted by PHS, Penn IUR, and Analytics at Wharton, Rooted in Research will discuss how green interventions can improve communities

Friday, January 20, 2023 – 12:00 PM EST – Online

Community gardens, trees, and clean green spaces have long been considered neighborhood amenities. Now, with data from Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s greening vacant land program, University of Pennsylvania faculty and researchers have proven that green interventions can improve health, safety, and well-being outcomes.

Rooted in Research, hosted by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn Institute for Urban Research, and Analytics at Wharton, will feature a diverse group of Penn faculty and researchers who will discuss how greening improves physical and mental health, increases safety, lowers violence, and supports a more prosperous housing environment. The webinar will also highlight how researchers partnered with on-the-ground greening efforts in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods to produce this research. Finally, the participants will discuss how this research can support and boost continued community greening efforts.

“The participants will discuss how this research can support and boost continued community greening efforts.”


Moderated by Penn IUR Co-Director, Susan Wachter, the panel will include Matt Rader, President, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; John MacDonald, Professor of Criminology and Sociology, SAS; Shane Jenson, Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Wharton; and Michelle Kondo, Research Social Scientist with the USDA-Forest Service. A special introduction by Eric Bradlow, Vice Dean of Analytics at Wharton, will discuss the role of the University in using research to support local communities.


New ice core analysis shows sharp Greenland warming spike
January 19, 2023 – A sharp spike in Greenland temperatures since 1995 showed the giant northern island 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) hotter than its 20th-century average, the warmest in more than 1,000 years, according to new ice core data. Newly analyzed cores, drilled in 2011, show a dramatic rise in temperature in the previous 15 years, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. “We keep on (seeing) rising temperatures between 1990s and 2011,” said study lead author Maria Hoerhold, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. “We have now a clear signature of global warming.”

Will the EPA investigate benzene levels near U.S. Steel plants in the Mon Valley?
January 18, 2023 – The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) has sent a letter to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking it to examine benzene concentrations around all three U.S. Steel plants in the Mon Valley. The letter from the nonprofit organization, whose mission is to protect communities and the environment from industrial pollution, urges the EPA to address harmful levels of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, and hydrogen sulfide around the Irvin, Clairton and Edgar Thomson plants. For six days in October and November, PM2.5 exceeded federal air quality standards, and hydrogen sulfide levels were above Pennsylvania’s air quality standards for more than 20 days. 

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