A team led by Jeff Carney is conducting research in Jacksonville within the watersheds of the McCoys and Hogan creeks. The objective is to understand the interconnections between the housing and environmental conditions and the wellbeing (HEW) of the inhabitants of the adjacent neighborhoods. We hypothesize that vulnerability in even one area of can manifest through measures of chronic illness, housing insecurity, and other critical factors (Agyeman, Bullard, & Evans, 2003) and lead to persistent vulnerability and inequity. To mitigate and plan for a more equitable environment, HEW must be understood as part of an overall socioecological system. Restoration within watersheds should consider individual, neighborhood, and regional scaled preferences, characteristics, and measures. Our research endeavors began with the following questions:
1. What are the measures of housing conditions, water quality, and air quality in relation to well-being in an urbanized watershed?
2. How and where can watershed improvement be developed to increase reliance across these measures?
3. What processes and partnerships are most effective to achieve multiple benefit measures through housing, environment, and well-being?
4. How can we design a built environment in an urban watershed that pursue equity and achieves resilience and ecological sustainability?
The theoretical framework of this research is grounded on intersectionality, which is a “qualitative analytic framework that identifies how interlocking systems of power affect those who are most marginalized in society” and takes these relationships into account when working to promote sociopolitical equity (Wheeler, n.d., p. 14). To answer these questions, we have developed partnerships with local Jacksonville organizations such as Groundwork Jacksonville and UF Health, and researchers from the Center for Landscape Conservation Planning, the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, and JaxLab.
Through historical analysis, literature reviews, data analyses using socioecological model and ArcGIS Pro, transect analysis, and community outreach and engagement through a pilot participatory walk, we have begun to highlight issues around water quality, air quality, heat effects, and housing conditions. Future research will keep engaging local organizations and communities, conducting real estate market evaluation in collaboration with the Kelley A. Bergstrom Real Estate Center at the University of Florida, and involves students in studio classes and courses focusing on this part of Jacksonville. This research team is composed by Jeff Carney, Mike Volk, Bill O’Dell, Lisa Platt, Nancy Clark, coordinated by Carla Brisotto and assisted by Emilee Aguerebbere, Forough Foroutan, Kaley Arboleda, and Whittaker Schroder.