The low impact of scientific research on the relations between housing and health during the last 30 years can be attributed to a number of reasons. First, statistical analyses have meant to improve understanding of the relations between what are interpreted and measured as causal factors. However, any single statistical approach fails to account for the dynamic non-linear relations between multiple factors and therefore cannot analyze systemic complexity. Second, there has been too little accumulation and validation of knowledge from scientific research owing to the dominance of cross-sectional studies, and the lack of coordinated research agendas using these approaches in order to confirm empirical findings. Hence, there is little evidence indicating that public policies in both the housing and the public health sectors in specific localities have benefited from the accumulated evidence of empirical research. Third, the findings from empirical studies have been published in academic journals and monographs but rarely disseminated to actors and institutions in the public and private sectors. Hence housing and health research and policy formulation have not been consolidated during the last three decades. The author of this communication argues for a radical shift from conventional disciplinary and multi-disciplinary contributions to transdisciplinary research programmes and projects that formulate and apply innovative approaches founded on conceptual frameworks that apply systems thinking for the integration of knowledge and know-how of researchers, policy makers, and professional practitioners in precise localities.
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