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Jana A. Hirsch, MES, PhD

Jana Hirsch

Assistant Research Professor
Urban Health Collaborative, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
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BA, Health and Societies/Environmental Studies, University of Pennsylvania
MES, Environmental Health, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, Epidemiological Science, University of Michigan


Dr. Hirsch is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work aims to understand the way neighborhoods shape health behavior and disparities.  She has primarily worked at the intersections of urban planning, geography, and epidemiology with a focus on built environments and physical activity among adults and older adults. In particular, she has examined the way walkable communities can increase walking for transportation or reduce normal declines in mobility with age. Her current work includes longitudinal examinations of the way neighborhoods change and the subsequent impact that this change has on health. Personally, she is an eager, active walker and a people-focused “urbanophile.” 

Research Interests

  • Health and Place or Built Environment
  • Health Disparities
  • Mental health and Behavioral health
  • Spatial Analysis or GIS
  • Urban Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Active Aging and Age-Friendly Neighborhoods


Hirsch, J.A., Green, G.F., Peterson, M., Rodriguez, D.A., Gordon-Larsen, P. (2016) “Neighbourhood Sociodemographics and Change in Built Environment Infrastructure” Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 1-17 DOI: 10.1080/17549175.2016.1212914

Hirsch, J.A., Winters, M., Clarke, P.J., Ste-Marie, N., McKay, H.A. (2016) “The Influence of Walkability on Broader Mobility for Canadian Middle Aged and Older Adults: an examination of Walk Score™ and the Mobility Over Varied Environments Scale (MOVES)” Preventive Medicine DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.09.036

Hirsch, J.A.1, Meyer, K.A.1, Zhang, L., Rodriguez, D.A., Peterson, M., Gordon-Larsen, P. “Municipal investment in off-road trails and changes in bicycle commuting in Minneapolis, Minnesota over 10 years: a longitudinal repeated cross-sectional study” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 1joint first authors

Hirsch, J.A., Grengs, J., Schulz, A., Adar, S., Rodriguez, D., Brines, S.J., Diez Roux, A.V. (2016) “How Much are Built Environments Changing, and Where?: Patterns of Change by Neighborhood Sociodemographic Characteristics across Seven U.S. Metropolitan Areas” Social Science and Medicine, 169, 97-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.09.032

Rummo, P.E., Hirsch, J.A., Green Howard, A., Gordon-Larsen, P. (2016) “In which neighborhoods are older adult populations expanding?: Sociodemographic and built environment characteristics across neighborhood trajectories of older adult populations in four U.S. cities over 30 Years” Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine 2. DOI: 10.1177/2333721416655966

Moore, K.A., Hirsch, J.A., Tomey, K., Mair, C., Sanchez, B., Diez Roux, A.V. (2016) “Neighborhood Social Resources and Depressive Symptoms: Longitudinal Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis” Journal of Urban Health, 1-17. DOI: 10.1007/s11524-016-0042-0

Hirsch, J.A., Meyer, K. A., Peterson, M., Rodriguez, D.A., Song, Y., Peng, K., Huh, J., Gordon-Larsen, P. (2016) “Obtaining Longitudinal Built Environment Data Retrospectively across 25 Years in Four US Cities” Frontiers in public health, 4. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00065

Hirsch, J.A., Winters, M., Ashe, M.A., Clarke, P.J., McKay, H.A. (2016) “Destinations that Older Adults Experience within their GPS Activity Spaces: Relation to Objectively Measured Physical Activity” Environment and Behavior, 48(1), 55-77. DOI: 10.1177/0013916515607312

Hirsch, J.A., Moore, K., Clarke, P., Rodriguez, D.A., Evenson, K.R., Brines, S.J., Zagorski, M.A., Diez Roux, A.V. (2014) “Changes in the Built Environment and Changes in the Amount of Walking Over Time: Longitudinal Results From the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis” American Journal Epidemiology, 180(8), 799-809. DOI:10.1093/aje/kwu218

Hirsch, J.A., Moore, K.A., Evenson, K.R., Rodriguez, D.A., Diez Roux, A.V. (2013). “Associations of Walk Score® and Transit Score® with Walking in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.” American Journal Preventive Medicine, 45(2), 158-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.03.018 Invited videocast found at:

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