Cities are home to a rising majority of the world’s population. The concentration of knowledge, innovation, economic activity, healthcare, education, and other public services gives cities the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of their residents and those of other parts of the country. We use interdisciplinary data and novel methods to measure and phenotype complex urban environments and to evaluate the health impacts of urban policies and urban change, with particular emphasis on inequalities in urban environment and health among different parts of a city and difference social groups. The work involves both intensive field monitoring campaigns for in-depth measurement of urban environment and health in specific cities, and the use of emerging big-data sources such as imagery, to measure and phenotype cities’ environment and track how they change.
As part of this work, we lead the Pathways to Equitable Healthy Cities Study in which academic and policy partners develop and model the impacts of policy scenarios related to housing and the built environment, transportation, water, sanitation and waste management, and urban services on health and health inequalities.