The paper, Health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment: complex challenges, scientific responses, and the way forward (2012), was written by Xuemei Bai1, Indira Nath2, Anthony Capon3, Nordin Hasan4 and Dov Jaron5. It explores the purpose and modalities of ICSU’s new programme on Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment.
In the paper, the authors argue that with rapid global urbanization, the importance of understanding relationships between the changing urban environment and human health and wellbeing is increasingly recognized, but that the science underlying these complex linkages is poorly developed. The authors explore the different types of health and wellbeing risks in the urban environment, their dynamic, ever evolving nature, and define both their spatial and socioeconomic dimensions.
They also present the innovative new programme on Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment that was launched recently by ICSU, which will use an integrated systems approach to address this complexity. They go on to identify key elements needed for the success of this new science initiative.
The authors decided to write the paper after sharing ideas while taking part in the session on Urban Environment and Wellbeing at ICSU’s Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development at Rio+20, which took place 11-15 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Forum brought together natural and social scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders to address key questions for global sustainability, with urban wellbeing as a key theme.
1 Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, 0200 Canberra, ACT, Australia
2 National Institute of Pathology (ICMR), Safdarjung Hospital Campus, New Delhi 110029, India
3 Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, 2601 Canberra, ACT, Australia
4 ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA