Los Angeles-based public health advocate, Dr. Richard Jackson, is the recipient of this year's Heinz Award for his work calling out the environmental and health risks of city planning. Over the years and in the face of adversity, Dr. Jackson has sparked a national conversation about the relationship between urban planning and community health. His studies have proven that poor community design have led to a sharp rise in health problems such as obesity and asthma. Dr. Jackson will receive a $250,000 cash prize.
Dr. Jackson's warnings about poor planning were at first harshly criticized. Then, study after study found his premonitions to be true and are now part of his highly sought after lectures, books, and a recently released PBS documentary, "Designing Healthy Communities." Dr. Jackson's dedication to public health has led him to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. He currently is a professor at UCLA.