Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Christina H. Fuller

Second Advisor

Dr. Matt Hayat

Third Advisor

Dr. Erin Ruel

Fourth Advisor

John Steward


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death in the United States today, and vulnerable populations may be more susceptible to this disease risk. Relocating into a new neighborhood may affect one’s cardiovascular disease risk. Through a socio-ecological framework, this study sought to determine whether changes in one’s interior and exterior built environment had a significant effect on cardiovascular disease risk in Atlanta’s relocated public housing population. Using pre- and post-relocation data from a questionnaire delivered to public housing residents, and built environment assessments from before and after demolition neighborhoods, the results showed residents were significantly more satisfied with their new neighborhoods and residences. However, while the interior built environment improved significantly after relocation, the exterior built environment declined significantly. Further, neither overall health nor cardiovascular disease risk improved significantly after relocation. These results corroborate findings in other public housing research that shows that many former public housing residents do not perceive an improvement in their health after relocation.