Dr. Shima Hamidi Appointed as New Bloomberg Assistant Professor of American Health in Environmental Challenges
The Bloomberg Professors of American Health scholars are endowed positions supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative (BAHI).
Before joining the Bloomberg School, Hamidi was the director of the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars, a $7.5 million center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has done extensive research on the negative consequences of car-oriented community design on public health and climate change. She has written two books and over 40 journal articles on urban sprawl and its impacts on individuals’ economic mobility, traffic safety, life expectancy, obesity and inactivity, emergence of food deserts, crime rates, and air quality.
“Dr. Hamidi’s work has important implications for our understanding of the multifaceted relationship between urban design and public health,” says Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM. “I am delighted to welcome her to the Bloomberg School.”
Hamidi’s research presentations to such policymakers as the City of Dallas Council, City of Fort Worth Council, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board Directors have helped influence policy changes. Her recent collaboration with the City of Dallas’ Office of Resiliency, AECOM, and Rockefeller Foundation—as part of the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative—has stopped the implementation of the massive fare increase program by DART and resulted in the creation of a new Department of Transportation in the City of Dallas. Hamidi has been recognized by UT Arlington with a Presidential Fellows Award.
"This is an honor. I look forward to working with BAHI and colleagues on pressing environmental challenges of public health. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us more than ever the critical need for multisectoral collaborations between public health, community design and transportation experts.
- Shima Hamidi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health & Engineering
"As an architect and urban planner, Dr. Hamidi brings a new dimension to the work of the Department, School, and entire University to better understand the impact of the urban, built environment and transportation systems on climate change,” says Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. “She is the first, hopefully of many, faculty hires in this critical area of environmental health and engineering.”
“Dr. Hamidi’s work in Texas demonstrates her deep commitment to improving transportation and health,” says Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. “We are thrilled to welcome her to the Bloomberg School and to our community of engaged faculty, fellows, and partners.”
The Bloomberg American Health Initiative will support 25 endowed positions over the next five years, deepening the Bloomberg School's expertise and impact in the Initiative’s five areas of focus: obesity and the food system, environmental challenges, addiction, violence, and adolescent health.