The Asthmatic Spaces project focuses on the dynamics of place, and how place matters for our understanding of asthma, both as an epidemic and illness condition. Currently our work focuses on collecting, coding, and analyzing asthma research at a number of important intersections. There are two components to the project: First, collecting and analyzing peer-reviewed publications in leading asthma journals; second, mapping out data published by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the “Asthma Capitals” report.


In the first project component — mapping peer-reviewed publications and research centers — we’re interested in where study of asthma is happening, but also what is being studied. For example, at the bottom of this page, we present a map of research on the association between traffic related air pollution (TRAP) and asthma.  We’re also looking at publications focused on asthma and housing; asthma and pregnancy; and asthma comorbidities.

We hope to publish the results of this work in late 2015.

Asthma Capitals Maps

“The Most Challenging Places to Live with Asthma”

The Asthma Capitals” is an annual report published by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The report draws on more than a dozen data sets to identify “the most challenging places to live with asthma.” The report focuses on the U.S. context.

The below Asthma Capitals maps were created by our EHS team; they feature the top 20 asthma capitals of 2014. The color makers correspond with various asthma prevalence, risk, and medical factors used to compare and rank the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The listed factors are used to determine the most challenging places to live with asthma in the year 2014.

  • RED dot represents “worse than average”
  • GREEN dot represents “better than average”
  • YELLOW dot represents “average”

Click on individual marker points to reveal the location’s Information Chart, which lists some of the data used by AAFA: Asthma Prevalence, Annual Pollen Score, Air Quality, 100% Smoke Free Laws, Poverty Rate, Uninsured Rate, School Inhaler Access Law, ER Visits for Asthma, Use of Quick Relief Meds, Use of Control Meds, Number of Specialists, and 2014 Rank for each asthma capital location.  All factors are measured using the same scale in the report itself: worse, average, or better.


Asthma Prevalence

Poverty Rate

100% Public Smoke-Free Laws

School Inhaler Access Law

The Road to Asthma Map

The “Road to Asthma Map” pinpoints the locations of peer-reviewed studies that analyze a relationship between asthma and traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) in the United States.

Content created by Brittany Salen