Joyce Klein-Rosenthal

Joyce Klein Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Joyce Klein Rosenthal is assistant professor of urban planning at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and co-coordinator of GSD’s master in design studies program in risk and resilience. Her research is concerned with the social and ecological analysis of how planning and design in cities may create conditions conducive to the multiple dimensions of health and equity in urban neighborhoods. As an urban planner with interests in ecology, public health, planning and design for climate change, and analysis of the built environment, her research is interdisciplinary and integrative and encompasses the traditional natural science/social science divide.

Her current research assesses the impacts of environmental change on neighborhoods within American cities, examines the interactions between urban design strategies and microclimates in Boston and New York City, and studies planning and design approaches for post-disaster recovery and resilience in coastal regions.  She is also researching the development and stewardship of natural systems in cities for use as “blue-green” infrastructure, to support the preservation of water quality, biodiversity, and healthy urban environments. Her recent study, “Intra-Urban Vulnerability to Heat-Related Mortality in New York City,” in Health & Place (2014) provides evidence of an emergent form of spatial inequality associated with urban design, building quality and microclimates that leads to health disparities within the city during extreme heat events.  She received her PhD (2010), MS in urban planning, and MPH in environmental health sciences from Columbia University.

For more information on the GSD’s Risk and Resilience track, see: 

Joyce is also a faculty member of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, a University-wide initiative that brings together scientists from all schools of Harvard and beyond for research that advances understanding the interaction of demographic change with social and economic development.  For information on the Population Center’s groundbreaking research on the social and environmental determinants of population health, population mobility, aging societies and women, work and health, please see: