Rebecca Miles
Professor of Urban & Regional Planning
Ph.D., Cornell University
Bellamy 621
Dr. Miles studies how the built and social environments affect health and safety, including investigations of neighborhood context. Her current work focuses on housing and health, and on physical activity and obesity in disadvantaged communities. Her research also evaluates interventions to address gender inequalities in population health and development.

More Information

Research Interest

Sociology of international development (gender, education, and work; empowerment processes at the local and regional scale)
Social and spatial context of health and health behavior
Policy issues in housing and environmental health


Planning for Developing Areas
Gender and Development
Population and Economic Forecasting
Population Health and Development
Advanced doctoral seminar on the Design of Policy-Oriented Research

Education and Professional Experience

B.A. Harvard University, 1977
M.R.P., Cornell University, 1983
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1988
National Institute for Child Health and Development Postdoctoral trainee
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Selected Papers and Publications

Miles, Rebecca, Coutts, Christopher, Mohamadi, Asal.(2011).“Neighborhood urban form, social environment,and depression”.Journal of Urban Health. Published online 29 October.

Coutts, Christopher & Miles, Rebecca. 2011. “Greenways as green magnets: The relationship between the race of greenway users and race in proximal neighborhoods.” Journal of Leisure Research. 43(3), pp.317-333.

Milstead, Terence & Miles, Rebecca. 2011. “DIY in a Post-Soviet Housing Market: An Empirical Investigation of Resident-Initiated Home Improvements in Vilnius, Lithuania”. Housing Studies 26(3), pp.403-421.

Miles, Rebecca, Song, Yan, & Frank, Lawrence D. 2010. “Social diversity and construction era of neighborhoods with traditional design features: Portland and Atlanta
compared”. Journal of Urbanism3(1), pp.19-38.

Miles, Rebecca & Song, Yan.2009.“‘Good’ Neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon:Focus on both social and physical environments”. Journal of Urban Affairs, 31(4), pp.491–509.

Frank, Lawrence D., Kerr, Jacqueline, Miles, Rebecca, Sallis, James F.2008. “A hierarchy of sociodemographic and environmental correlates of walking and obesity”. Preventive Medicine, 47, pp.172-178.

External Grants

2003 Co-Investigator - Housing and Urban Development Department "Empowering residents to increase their level of physical activity for transportation and health", under the Community Outreach Partnership Centers Program (COPC) grant (2003-2006) awarded to co-PI's Charles Connerly and Harrison Higgins, $109,591 of total $399,969

2001 Principal Investigator - Physical Activity and Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 Agreement $38,626

1996 Fulbright Research Award Recipient - Council for the International Exchange of Scholars - "Changing regional economies: implications for men and women in households in Jordan and Syria" $21,000

1992 Principal Investigator - Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation "How different is the ecological context of violence in families from violence in the streets?" $69,578

1992 Research Award Recipient - Gerontological Society of America Technical Assistance Program and Florida HRS/Dept. of Aging and Adult Services, "Assessing the effect of pre-admission screening on transitions into nursing homes in Florida"

1992 Co-Principal Investigator - Florida Emergency Medical Services (EMS/HRS) "Social Context of Injuries" $20,000 (approx)

1991 Co-Principal Investigator - Florida EMS/HRS "Rural Injuries Study" $21,880