Special Issue "Healthy City Science: Citizens, Experts and Urban Governance"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jason Corburn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health & Department of City & Regional Planning, Director, Center for Global Healthy Cities, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Interests: urban health; environmental health; citizen science; climate justice; health in all policies; informal settlements and health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Saroj Jayasinghe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo 00800, Sri Lanka
Interests: urban health; systems science; health equity; clinical reasoning
Prof. Dr. Franz W. Gatzweiler
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Urban Environment, Chinese academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
Interests: complex systems; governance; institutions; ecosystems; complex systems modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

More people are living in cities than at any other time in history, and there are both health advantages and risks from urbanization and urban life. While there is no one definition of a healthy city, we suggest that the 21st century challenges of rising economic inequality, increases in precarious work and living conditions, discrimination of the urban poor, climate change, drug-resistant infections, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all revealed that new and innovative approaches to cultivating healthy cities are needed. Importantly, 21st century healthy cities will need to take a systems approach, integrating people, technologies, and policies. This integrated approach will demand a new science for—and not just on—the city, but exactly what this will entail is still unclear. Methods from citizen science to urban health systems modeling may need to be integrated in new ways that also speak to urgent policy issues, such as adapting to the health and ecological impacts of climate change.

This Special Issue of Urban Science seeks papers that can help define the 21st century’s healthy and equitable city. This Special Issue seeks papers that address any number of the urban health science questions that can promote more healthy and equitable cities. We seek papers from practitioners, activists, and researchers, and are interested in descriptions of innovative practice and outcome-based studies. We are eager to include unrecognized voices and marginalized practices in urban sciences, including indigenous knowledge, community-based action research community mapping, and others. Fundamentally, we seek papers that aim to contribute to the new science for the healthy and equitable city and encourage submissions from small, medium, and mega city-regions around the world.

Prof. Jason Corburn
Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe
Prof. Dr. Franz W. Gatzweiler
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban health
  • healthy cities
  • slums
  • community health
  • systems science

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Article
Near-Collapse Buildings and Unsafe Sidewalks as Neglected Urban & Public Health Issue: A Qualitative Study
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(2), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5020047 - 07 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Public health and city planning are highly interconnected; however, the nexus between the urban state of buildings and sidewalks and corresponding public and urban health issues is lacking in Greece. In a case study in Athens, Greece, we evaluated unsafe buildings, facades, balconies, [...] Read more.
Public health and city planning are highly interconnected; however, the nexus between the urban state of buildings and sidewalks and corresponding public and urban health issues is lacking in Greece. In a case study in Athens, Greece, we evaluated unsafe buildings, facades, balconies, and sidewalks during a 15-year follow-up. We manually inspected (a) if the building/location’s condition had worsened and (b) any effective intervention by the state. Of the 400 initially selected buildings, 251 nonoverlapping buildings were analyzed. Overall, ~20% of the buildings posed a subjectively perceived severe risk for collapse, 35% had near-to-fall objects, and 45% had other minor issues. Fifteen years later, ~85% of the buildings were at the same or higher risk of complete or partial fall, and in only 15% had the risk of collapse been reduced or removed by private or public intervention. We detected uneven and dangerous parts of sidewalks hindering walkability and increasing the risk of falling or tipping. Our assessment revealed that Athens’ historical center harbors plausible safety and health risks for pedestrians and dwellers due to entire or partial building collapse and poor-condition sidewalks, which can potentially act as stress factors. Collectively, the issue of near-collapse buildings and risky sidewalks as an urban health determinant appears neglected by municipal authorities in their urban planning priorities; thus, future studies are needed in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy City Science: Citizens, Experts and Urban Governance)
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Review
Resilient Urbanization: A Systematic Review on Urban Discourse in Pakistan
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(4), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci4040076 - 14 Dec 2020
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Abstract
Urbanization is a common phenomenon in the modern world. It has come with new challenges, especially for developing countries. Such countries, therefore, have to stay ahead in their preparedness efforts to meet these urban issues halfway. Unfortunately, urban residents in Pakistan are living [...] Read more.
Urbanization is a common phenomenon in the modern world. It has come with new challenges, especially for developing countries. Such countries, therefore, have to stay ahead in their preparedness efforts to meet these urban issues halfway. Unfortunately, urban residents in Pakistan are living in serious social, physical, and economic hardships. Despite being economic engines, cities in Pakistan suffer from stresses like climate change, haphazard and unregulated expansion, housing shortage, and a lack of basic civic amenities. While using systematic review methodology, we collected published and grey data from national and international sources. Literature shows that successive governments in Pakistan gave ample space to urban development in most of the policy documents. However, urban resilience and community engagement were given scant attention. This major gap, both in policy and practice, needs to be bridged to promote resilient and sustainable urbanization in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy City Science: Citizens, Experts and Urban Governance)
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