Analyzing the Role of Urban Forms in Making Sustainable, Healthy Cities
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stress the importance of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable for healthy living. It is estimated that by 2050, 90% of the population growth will occur in cities. Urbanization not only changes the geography of urbanites but also transforms our earth into an urban planet. Subsequently, urban built environment become an integral part of the determinants of human health and well-being. For instance, streetscapes, mixed-land use and public open space have found to link to walkability, transport mode selections, social polarization and quality of life, particularly affecting youth’s physical activity and elderly’s cognitive and emotional functioning.
The study of urban form allows elucidating the interconnectedness between physical space and human activities in cities, so to inform appropriate interventions, resilient urban design, and policy making for sustainable development and healthy living. This project brings together a group of specialists with complementary expertise to form a multidisciplinary Urban Lab Network to study what types of built forms and spatial behaviors promote better health and well-being.
Research activities will include three major milestones: a local workshop, an international workshop in Auckland, and an international research symposium in Hong Kong. These activities will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogues and discussion on emerging opportunities for data sharing and dissemination and stimulate the exchange of ideas among stakeholders, policy makers, academics and public audience. The project will leverage the participants' breadth of knowledge and experiences to draw public impact and cultivate opportunities for early career researchers in the international scholarly work. The expected outcomes include the setting up of a collaborative research framework and a roadmap documenting cutting-edge research approaches and emerging interdisciplinary strengths to identify critical policy-relevant research questions and to guide future collaborations and funding applications.