Article of the week: Shaping cities for health

The article of the week is a Lancet/University College London commissioned paper titled “Shaping cities for health: complexity and the planning of urban environments in the 21st century” by a long list of authors (Volume 379, Issue 9831, Pages 2079 – 2108… you will need institutional access to get this).

The article gives a good summary of urban health research, a description of the WHO Healthy Cities movement, along with 3 recommendations for ‘advancing’ urban health research:


1. “Post-complexity policy (policy made on the basis of cities being complex systems) needs to focus on experimentation and trial-and-error as the way to produce desired outcomes (p.2100).”

2. The assessment of these various experiments therefore needs to be strengthened. Such assessment is different from that usually practised in relation to public health interventions, one that fits with ideas of reflexive social learning rather than a modernist idea of reason (p.2100).”

3. “Under such conditions, consideration of the value-laden nature of policy interventions is essential (p.2101).”

I’m going to write a reply to this so I won’t give anything away on the blog for now. More to come soon. 






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