Special Issue "Urban Health and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Johannes Flacke
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Interests: geo-health; sustainability indicators; public participation; interactive planning support systems; collaborative planning
Prof. Dr. Heike Köckler
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Community Health, Hochschule für Gesundheit (University of Applied Science), Gesundheitscampus 6–8, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Interests: environmental justice; healthy urban development; community health; indicators

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban health and sustainability are two sides of the same coin. Both aim at integrating different sectors and disciplines, and have a strong focus on the local-level concerning interventions and strategies. While sustainability originates from the urgent need to consider the environmental and social implications of development, a contemporary understanding of urban health incorporates the social and environmental factors that determine healthy living conditions in cities. Furthermore, both concepts are complimentary to each other. The concept of sustainability works as a vision providing a long-term perspective of urban development, while the concept of urban health is rather analytical and outcome oriented, providing a framework, for example, for studying cumulative and multiple burdens, and taking the social vulnerability of individuals and communities into account.

Given these similarities and complementarities, a stronger integration of the two concepts in research and practice is apparently needed. Improving the urban health and sustainability of cities worldwide raises complex questions that are best addressed through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, for which citizen engagement, empowerment, and public participation are crucial. In order to better understand the complexity of urban dynamics, systems thinking approaches might be promising. Moreover, multi-level strategies combining interventions from a national to local level are required. Finally, a proper evaluation of the impacts, from interventions and strategies aiming at urban health and sustainability, is needed.

This Special Issue aims to promote innovative case-studies, concepts, methods, and tools that aim at integrating urban health and sustainability. In line with the context and aims outlined above, we invite original research contributions on the following topics (may be extended):

• Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approaches and studies integrating urban health and sustainability issues;
• Innovative geospatial and participatory approaches of the co-creation of data and knowledge on urban health and sustainability in cities;
• Studies on indicators as a basis for interventions in healthy urban and/or sustainable development;
• Studies on cumulative burdens and health-related inequalities;
• Meaningful involvement of citizens or stakeholder in local decision procedures;
• Evaluation of interventions in the fields of urban health and/or sustainability.

Dr. Johannes Flacke
Prof. Dr. Heike Köckler
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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
  • Sustainability
  • Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Cumulative impacts
  • Multiple burden
  • Interventions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Municipal Health Promotion as Part of Urban Health: A Policy Framework for Action
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6685; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166685 - 18 Aug 2020
Abstract
The link between health, socio-economic status and the living environment is increasingly moving into the focus of public health research and policy. The aim of the European Union’s Project “Joint Action Health Equity Europe (JAHEE)” is to enable countries to identify and implement [...] Read more.
The link between health, socio-economic status and the living environment is increasingly moving into the focus of public health research and policy. The aim of the European Union’s Project “Joint Action Health Equity Europe (JAHEE)” is to enable countries to identify and implement needs-based measures to promote health equity. In one of JAHEE’s work packages, focusing on healthy living environments as a strategy to tackle health inequities, a Policy Framework for Action (PFA) has been developed. This article gives an insight into the core contents of the PFA, which are valid beyond the project boundaries for all actors that work at the intersection of community health promotion. The PFA was developed as a consensus document in a participatory process between the members of the work package and an interdisciplinary German team of public health experts. Results from project meetings of the partner countries as well as research findings and recommendations from field experts were incorporated. Reducing health inequalities in public health is a cross-sectional issue that needs to be addressed across all policy areas. The municipality setting is of particular importance in this context, as it offers many starting points and can coordinate between all relevant actors with an overarching strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Health and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Models of Intersectoral Cooperation in Municipal Health Promotion and Prevention: Findings from a Scoping Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6544; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166544 - 13 Aug 2020
Abstract
Intersectoral cooperation is regarded as a promising strategy in setting-oriented prevention and health promotion for interdepartmental, joint efforts towards improved health equity. This paper deals with models of intersectoral cooperation in municipal health promotion. It frames the methodology and the central results of [...] Read more.
Intersectoral cooperation is regarded as a promising strategy in setting-oriented prevention and health promotion for interdepartmental, joint efforts towards improved health equity. This paper deals with models of intersectoral cooperation in municipal health promotion. It frames the methodology and the central results of a literature and database search (on behalf of the Federal Centre for Health Education, BZgA) and presents the partial results regarding the models of intersectoral cooperation. Of 48 publications analyzed for the review, nine publications each present different models of intersectoral cooperation. The models describe typical processes in the context of the joint work as detailed step sequences and formulate general recommendations as success factors of intersectoral cooperation. With reference to the findings of the review, it can be concluded that models for intersectoral cooperation have not yet been systematized and consequently have not been researched for transferability into specific fields of practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Health and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Health Diagnosis in a Park as a Sustainability Initiative in Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6436; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166436 - 10 Aug 2020
Abstract
Environmental health diagnosis was made in a sport and recreational park in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The objective of this research was to perform an environmental diagnosis in Tucson Park; it concentrated on air quality (fine and coarse particulate matter, carbon [...] Read more.
Environmental health diagnosis was made in a sport and recreational park in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The objective of this research was to perform an environmental diagnosis in Tucson Park; it concentrated on air quality (fine and coarse particulate matter, carbon dioxide), environmental noise, water quality of springs and a pond according to national standards, and macroinvertebrates as biological indicators of water condition, as well as phytosanitary state of wooded area. Additionally, a survey was conducted to study environmental perception. Results of the study highlighted significant statistical differences concerning the amount and size of particles for the winter and spring seasons. Noise levels within the park premises exceeded the Mexican standard. Water quality measured through general criteria of integrated water quality index (WQI) qualified the park´s analyzed springs as acceptable but to abstain its use and human consumption. Finally, the perception survey identified insecurity as the major problem, followed by the lack of lighting and effective communication of courses and workshops for the community to attend. It is one of the first environmental diagnoses in sport parks in Mexico´s Metropolitan Areas as an integrated approach of ecosystem health and wellbeing of city inhabitants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Health and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Different Air Pollutants on Dining-Out Activities and Satisfaction of Urban and Suburban Residents
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072746 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
Air pollution has become a global environmental problem that directly affects the living quality of city residents. It not only does damages to the physical health of the human body but also has adverse effects on mood, outdoor activities, and social interactions, which [...] Read more.
Air pollution has become a global environmental problem that directly affects the living quality of city residents. It not only does damages to the physical health of the human body but also has adverse effects on mood, outdoor activities, and social interactions, which further reduces the vitality of the city. Dining out is an important way of social interaction for city residents. Using Beijing as an example, this paper aims to study the impacts of different air pollutants on dining-out activities and satisfaction of urban and suburban residents. The results show that: (1) Air pollution can significantly reduce dining-out frequency and satisfaction; (2) Due to differences in environmental and health awareness, the impact of air pollution on dining-out behaviors varies among urban and suburban residents; and (3) O3 pollution has a greater emotional impact on suburban residents than urban residents, possibly because of the differences in defense strategies and levels of pollution exposure in the workplace. The findings imply that improving air quality can obtain not only health benefits but also long-term social and economic vitality. The publicity of environment and health information should be strengthened on key urban air pollutants, especially on particulate matter and O3, and on disadvantaged groups to enhance environmental justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Health and Sustainability)
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