The Key Roles of Community and Building Design in Protecting and Promoting Health

The Dean’s Lecture Series at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture presents Dr. Karen Lee at 6:00pm on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 in the Centre Space of the John A. Russell Building at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture.

Dr. Karen Lee lives in New York City, and teaches on the built environment and health at the Pratt Institute in New York, and is also Adjunct Professor at the Schools of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta (also a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Non-Communicable Disease Policy) in Canada. She is also Senior Advisor on Built Environment & Healthy Housing at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Lee has been the lead for the NYC Health Department in its work with 12 city agencies and non-government partners, in the development of the award-winning Active Design Guidelines, published in January 2010. She and her staff at the NYC Health Dept work with the American Institute Architects New York Chapter to organize the annual Fit City conferences since 2006. Since the publication of the Active Design Guidelines, Lee’s team has developed and implemented trainings on Active Design for architects and planners as well as community groups and residents, and has worked with city agencies and private sector partners on developing and implementing Active Design policies and practices in NYC and 15 other US cities.  Lee is also co-author on the recently released publications Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety, and Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing presenting low-cost and cost-neutral Active Design strategies to address the epidemics of obesity and related chronic diseases. 

Lee was also involved in the development and publication of the recent NYC Health Department publication Active Design: Guide for Community Groups. Lee also consults to and advises cities and organizations in Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as World Health Organization offices on issues related to the built environment and chronic diseases. Before coming to NYC, Lee was with the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she worked in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.