Will Urbanization Be a Global Health Boon or Hindrance?

A new report released this week seeks to address whether the "urban health advantage" can be extended to more of the world’s population as cities continue to grow in the coming decades, reports Katherine Harmon.

While cities are thought to be an overall aid to general health due to better access to health care and improved overall infrastructure, it takes good planning to ensure that potentially harmful effects are minimized. Lessons of good planning practices will become increasingly important as the world, and especially the developing world, continue to urbanize.

That is the impetus behind a new report authored by Yvonne Rydin, of the University College London's Bartlett School of Planning, and published this week that, "examines several initiatives across the globe-from providing gardening plots to urban residents in Cuba, to improving the pedestrian experience in Bogota, Colombia-to see what's working and how we can best prepare for continued urban growth."

"The authors conclude that urbanization alone will not automatically help everyone lead healthier, happier lives," writes Harmon. "To improve the health of all urban dwellers-present and future-concerted planning will be necessary, but global payoffs will be great." 

Full Story: Can the “Urban Advantage” Bring Better Global Health as City Populations Skyrocket?

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