Open Climate Change and Health Equity Data: Access and Use

Session 6C | Thursday | 10:30 – 11:45 AM PT

Presentation PDF
About the Session

Responses to climate change threats (like wildfire smoke and severe heat events) will be most successful when civic and public sector partners co-design toward policies, programs, and projects.  These collaborations can flourish when all actors have shared access to - and use of - relevant data, platforms, tools, and applications. As jurisdictions address the impacts of racism and begin to center their efforts on community health and equity, further consideration of how data is collected, interpreted, analyzed, and communicated is needed to foster the development of trusted partnerships and collaboration. And although many jurisdictions have made their datasets publicly available online, the use of these datasets by community-based partners is often still constrained by access and capacity challenges. This session will share examples of data collection, analysis, and storytelling, then participants will consider why and how open data might contribute to initiatives in their home communities.

About the Moderator

Richard Gelb, MES, LEED, AP 
Public Health, Seattle & King County

Richard Gelb is an Environmental Health Planner with Public Health, Seattle & King County focusing on health equity in the built environment by bringing qualitative community priorities together with GIS data on disparities in community conditions to inform planning, policy, growth management, and transportation decisions.  For the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update cycle, he is coordinating policy initiatives on: 1) Housing near High Volume Transportation Corridors, and 2) Toilet, Sink, and Drinking Water provision.

About the Speakers

Addison Houston, MCRP, AICP
Public Health, Seattle & King County

Addison Houston is the Climate Adaptation Lead for Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Climate & Health Equity Initiative. His work entails assessing pathways of how regional effects of climate change are anticipated to impact public health, and the development of strategies that work to mitigate these impacts, while addressing historic disparities that contribute to the disproportionate impact of climate change on frontline communities. Addison brings a diverse background of expertise to his role. Integrating his education and experience in the fields of city and regional planning, environmental regulation, public health, and emergency management. 

Addison earned his Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen State College, a small liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington. And his Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with an emphasis in climate change adaptation and hazards mitigation. He has received professional certification in critical infrastructure protection from Texas A&M University System’s Engineering Extension Service program and has been a standing member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 2021.

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