TitleCommentary: Cities and Health…Let Me Count the Ways
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBrauer, M, Hystad, P
Pagination526 - 527
Date Published2014

Just over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, with cities expected to absorb virtually all of the world’s future population growth.1 The way that we design our cities and interact with this “built environment” can profoundly affect our health, but empirical evidence tracing influences through specific mechanisms remains rare. In recent years, a substantial literature has developed that focuses on associations between within-city variability in air pollution concentrations and a diverse array of health effects, including birth outcomes.2 This evolution from between-city comparisons now fully integrates air pollution research into the realm of urban form, of which there are multiple (potentially spatially clustered) environmental exposures. For example, traffic and airport noise also vary over space and have been linked to health effects.3 A multidimensional approach to urban environmental quality and health is therefore needed and beginning to emerge in the literature.