RAPID URBANIZATION is the dominant demographic trend in the 21st century. Urban design must focus on optimizing natural resources and human health. When building and managing cities, it must be a priority to reduce the overall ecological footprints by reducing impacts on biodiversity; air and water pollution; and per capita energy, water, and arable land use. Designing highly efficient cities and simultaneously capitalizing on health co-benefits, such as cleaner air and using physical activity as transportation, could make an enormous positive impact on health. Further research is needed to develop principles of effective sustainable urban design that promote the physical and mental health of urban dwellers while reducing the global ecological footprint of the world's cities.

Learning Objectives
L1: Compare and contrast the health benefits with the health harms of urbanization.
L2: Explain the drivers of regional urbanization, including sociocultural and economic factors.
L3: Describe ongoing changes in the demographics of urban centers.
L4: Propose potential interventions in the urban context to improve health, considering economic, political and sociocultural influences.
Teaching Resources
Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change Syllabus
This undergraduate level course will provide students with tools to identify and address real-world global environmental and urban health issues. In addition to reading and discussing subject content to assist understanding of the issues, students will learn skills to optimize the likelihood of affecting policy change through 1) the Health Impact Assessment framework; 2) an introduction to environmental health modeling and spatial analysis; and 3) science communication skills. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 2017.
→ Syllabus
→ Weekly Course Topics and Schedule

Urbanization and Health in the Developing World
(L1, L2, L3) This slidedeck provides an example of a lecture for a class on urbanization and health identifying demographic trends, emerging health problems, potential solutions and what makes a city healthy.
→ Teaching tool

Ecosystem Approaches to Health Teaching Manual
A teaching manual with sample modules and associated activities for teaching about health and environmental change produced by COPEH-Canada.
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Planetary Health & Environmental Epidemiology
In this graduate level course, students will study the human health impacts of accelerating environmental change through interdisciplinary approaches including environmental science, political science, and public health.

Public Health and the Built Environment
This Tufts University course will explore the linkages between the built environment and human health from a policy and planning perspective, with a particular focus on the U.S. urban health context.
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Urban Environment and Public Health
This University of Miami course examines the urban environment – in particular, those aspects of urban/suburban/semi-rural environments created by humans. This includes how homes, neighborhoods, cities, and regions impact public health challenges such as obesity, chronic disease, mental health, infectious disease, and injuries.
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Urban Health Disparities Syllabus
This Howard University course provides students with a foundation for understanding how history, power, privilege and structural inequality interact to produce urban health disparities. It looks at the advantages and disadvantages of urbanization on both physical and mental health and the root causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health and healthcare.
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Public Health as an Urban Solution
(L2, L3, L4) A TedTalk exploring how public health is the lens to address poverty, violence, discrimination, and injustice and redefining the role of public health to be the 21st-century urban solution and critical social justice tool, in Baltimore and around the world.
→ Watch the video