The urban environment affects health, well-being and quality of life of the population in many ways. Furthermore it performs a wide range of functions such as providing physical and economic space as well as identification opportunities. Conventional urban planning, modern urban development and urban “governance” are expected to deliver appropriate responses to current developments and changes, such as demographic, technological and climate change and globalization.
The health sector – closely linked in earlier times with urban planning and development – and its associated disciplines, in recent times, increasingly re-focus on the role of urban living environments for human health. This refers to both pathogenic factors and their mitigation as well as to health promoting aspects.
For urban development, health is only “one” target among numerous others such as sustainability, justice and resource efficiency. When heterogeneous values, interests, traditions and approaches come together, this is a major challenge for the different sectors in “Urban Health” and for the participating disciplines.
At this point, the research initiative “City of the Future” kicks in. The initiative is supported by the Fritz and Hildegard Berg-Foundation (member of Deutsches Stiftungszentrum / German Center for Foundations in Essen, Germany). This program is designed to contribute to the collaboration of different disciplines and sectors in theory and practice.