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Urban health challenges: Lessons from COVID-19 responses

Ruszczyk, Hanna A. and Castán Broto, Vanesa and McFarlane, Colin (2022) 'Urban health challenges: Lessons from COVID-19 responses.', Geoforum., 131 . pp. 105-115.


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a re-examination of our societies and in particular urban health. We argue that urban health needs to address three inter-related challenge areas – the unequal impacts of climate change, changing patterns of urbanization, and the changing role of the local government – across multiple spatial scales: from individual, households to neighbourhoods, cities, and urban hinterlands. Urban health calls for nimble institutions to provide a range of responses while adapting to crisis situations, and which operate beyond any one spatial scale. We illustrate our argument by drawing on South and Southeast Asian examples where responses to the pandemic have confronted these challenges across scales. A multiscalar definition of urban health offers an opportunity to challenge dominant approaches to urban health in research, policy, and practice.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( nc-nd/4.0/).
Date accepted:07 March 2022
Date deposited:20 April 2022
Date of first online publication:24 March 2022
Date first made open access:17 August 2022

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