18 Dec 2023

New papers reveal how living in an urban environment impacts our health

A new series of papers addressing urban planning and development for health, highlight pressing issues which jeopardise the wellbeing of people living in urban environments. From escalating inequalities and overburdened infrastructure to acute housing crises, detrimental lifestyles, and the relentless threat of extreme heat, the comprehensive papers published in a special issue of Public Health Research & Practice, a journal of the Sax Institute, underscores the urgent need for measures to safeguard the health of urban populations.

The issue, produced in partnership with SPHERE’s Healthy Populations and Environments Platform includes an editorial by Platform lead, Professor Jason Prior together with international experts, who not only highlight the connections between urban planning, development and management and people’s health but also advocate for urban environments that actively foster health and wellbeing for all.

Papers in the special issue include:

  • a surveillance system for heat illness presentations to emergency departments piloted in Western Sydney hospitals;
    how LGBTQIA+ people experience public spaces in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
  • Research into health outcomes across the life course from exposure to everyday urban environments during the first 2000 days of life
  • The therapeutic benefits for survivors of the Stolen Generation living in urban areas in reconnecting with their cultural landscapes
  • Developing a framework for health services to assess and address the unequal impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations
  • The impact of strategies to increase access to healthy foods in high-income countries, including Australia
  • A pilot project to assess how the redevelopment of a large social housing estate in inner Sydney has affected the health of its residents.


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