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Strategies for healthy cities: Researchers call for new regulations!

The goals and ways to achieve sustainable urban development are linked to human health and well-being in many ways. However, these connections have not been explored in depth in recent discussions of urban sustainability and global urban studies.

This paper fills this gap by detailing the diverse connections between urban sustainability and human health and identifying research gaps at the interface of health and urban sustainability sciences. As researchers from a wide range of disciplines, we want to:

  1. Define the process of urbanization and highlight differences from related concepts to improve conceptual rigor in health research,

  2. review the evidence on the relationship between health and urbanization, urbanity and cities and identify cross-cutting themes

  3. Identify new research approaches needed to study complex urban systems and their connections to health.

This novel, comprehensive knowledge synthesis addresses topics of interest to multiple disciplines. Our overview of urban development concepts will be of particular value to researchers and practitioners in the health sciences, while our overview of the relationships between urban environments and health will also be of particular interest to those outside the public health profession. We highlight specific actions to promote health through sustainable urban development that leaves no one behind, including: integrated planning, evidence-based policy making and monitoring of policy implementation. We also emphasize the critical role of effective governance and equity-focused planning in progressing toward sustainable, healthy and equitable urban development.

Quoted and translated from:Tonne, C., Adair, L., Adlakha, D., Anguelovski, I., Belesova, K., Berger, M., Brelsford, C., Dadvand, P., Dimitrova, A., Giles-Corti, B ., Heinz, A., Mehran, N., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., Pelletier, F., Ranzani, O., Rodenstein, M., Rybski, D., Samavati, S., Satterthwaite, D., … Adli, M. (2021). Defining pathways to healthy sustainable urban development. Environment International, 146, 106236.


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