US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Michelle Kondo

Michelle Kondo, Ph.D.

Research Hydrologist
100 N. 20th Street, Suite 205
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-988-1619
Contact Michelle Kondo, Ph.D.

Curriculum vitae (206 KB PDF)

Current Research

Cities across the US are undertaking sustainability initiatives that aim to restore ecosystem functions, reduce energy consumption and heat-island effects, and improve air and water quality and public health. One major strategy of these initiatives is the introduction of vegetation and greened spaces to once-paved, impervious or abandoned lands. My research evaluates the potential role of urban greening initiatives, such as green stormwater infrastructure or vacant-lot greening, in reducing environmental hazards, improving community health and the health of ecosystems. My research program addresses two themes:

  • Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are a common occurrence in cities such as Philadelphia and Camden; two of approximately 700 US cities with combined sewer systems subject to overflow during heavy rain events. Impacts include riparian and streambed erosion, reduced water quality from introduced sediments and pollutants, increased stream temperatures, and degraded habitats, as well as public health effects from exposure to untreated sewage that ends up in streets, parks, streams, and basements. I am developing a research program to evaluate the potential utility of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in reducing storm flows in urban areas.
  • My research also evaluates the public health and safety effects of urban sustainability initiatives such as GSI and vacant-lot greening. I am currently conducting observational and experimental research on the effect of GSI and vacant-lot greening on cardiovascular health, crime, and traffic safety in Philadelphia, PA Youngstown, OH, Newark, NJ, and Detroit, MI.
  • Manuscripts in Preparation or Under Review

    Kondo, M.C., Low, S.C., Henning, J., Branas, C.C. Association between green infrastructure installment and surrounding health and safety.

    Kondo, M.C., Sharma, R., Yang, Y., Burstyn, I. Heavy metal concentrations in urban green stormwater infrastructure sites. 

    Kondo, M.C., Keene, D., Hohl, B., MacDonald, J., Branas, C.C. The effects of a new vacant building remediation strategy on safety.

    South, E.C., Kondo, M.C., Cheney, R.A., Branas, C.C. Neighborhood blight, stress, and health: A walking trial of urban greening and ambulatory heart rate.


    Research Interests

    • Urban land, forest and stormwater management, public health & safety  

    • Community-based research and collaborative planning  

    • Mixed-methods research; qualitative and quantitative GIS



    Past Research

    My past research has investigated patterns of air pollution in goods-movement communities; air pollution-related stress and risk perception; and methods of community engagement in research and planning.  


    Kondo, M.C., Gross-Davis, C.A., May, K., Davis, L.O. Johnson, T., Mallard, M., Gabbadon, A., Sherrod, C., Branas, C.C. (2014) Place-based stressors associated with industry and air pollution. Health & Place, 28, 31-37.

    Kondo, M.C., Mizes, C., Lee, J., Burstyn, I. (2014) Black carbon concentrations in a goods-movement neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment.

    Kondo, M.C., Mizes, C., Lee, J., & Burstyn, I. (2014) Towards participatory air pollution exposure assessment in a goods movement community. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 8(3).

    Kondo, M.C., Bream, K.D.W., Barg, F.K., Branas, C.C. (2014) A random spatial sampling method in a rural developing nation. BMC Public Health, 14, 338. 

    Ketterer, T., West, D.W., Sanders, V.P., Hossain, J., Kondo, M.C., & Sharif, I. (2013) Correlates of patient portal enrollment and activation in primary care pediatrics. Academic Pediatrics, 13(3), 264-271.

    Kondo, M.C., Rivera, R., & Rullman, S. (2012) Protecting the idyll but not the environment: Second homes, amenity migration and rural exclusion in Washington State. Landscape and Urban Planning, 106(2), 174-182.

    Kondo, M.C. (2012) Immigrant organizations in pursuit of inclusive planning: Lessons from a municipal annexation case. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32(3), 319-330.

    Kondo, M.C. (2012) Influences of gender and race on immigrant political participation: The case of the Trusted Advocates. International Migration, 50(5), 113-129.

    Porter, L., Sandercock, L., Umemoto, K., Bates, L.K., Zapata, M. A., Kondo, M.C., Zitcer, A., Lake, R.W. fonza, a., Sletto, B., & Erfan, A. (2012) What's love got to do with it? Illuminations on loving attachment in planning. Planning Theory & Practice, 13(4).






    • University of Washington, PhD Urban Design and Planning, 2008
    • University of Washington, MUP Urban Design and Planning, 2001
    • Carnegie Mellon University, BS Civil & Environmental Engineering, 1999

    Professional Experience

    • Associate Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Public Health Initiatives
      2010 - Current
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology
      2013 - 2014
    • GPS/GIS Instructor, University of Pennsylvania, Guatemala Health Initiative
      2012 - 2013
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
      2010 - 2013
    • Visiting Assistant Professor, Seattle University, Institute of Public Service
      2009 - 2010
    • Fellow, University of Washington, NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Urban Ecology
      2003 - 2005
    • Environmental Consultant, Environmental Science Associates, Water and Wastewater Division, San Francisco, CA.
      2001 - 2003

    Publications & Products

    Last updated on : 08/04/2014