Urban Transitions 2018


Urban Transitions 2018 aims to promote healthy urban development by bringing together different disciplines working within cities including world leading experts on urban and transport planning, architecture, environmental exposures, physical activity, and public health and governance to discuss current challenges and solutions.

Conference deadlines

Abstract deadline - 18 June 2018

Early booking deadline - 24 August 2018

Author registration deadline: 24 August 2018

Conference Chair

Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen

ISGlobal, Spain

Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen PhD is a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living.

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Pengjun Zhao

Peking University, China

Professor Pengjun Zhao is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the director of the Centre for Urban Planning and Transport Studies at Peking University. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Cities (Elsevier).

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Bert van Wee

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Bert van Wee is Professor in Transport Policy at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, faculty Technology, Policy and Management. In addition he is scientific director of TRAIL research school.

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Local Organising Committee

Mark Nieuwenhuijsen (Chair), ISGlobal, Spain

Bert van Wee, (Vice-chair), Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands

Pengjun Zhao, (Vice-chair), Peking University, China

Isabella Anguelovski, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Xavier Basagana, ISGlobal, Spain

James Connoly, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Payam Dadvand, ISGlobal, Spain

Carolyn Daher, ISGlobal, Spain

Howard Frumkin, ISGlobal and University of Washington, USA

Carme Miralles-Guasch, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Ana Novoa, Barcelona Public Health Agency, Spain

Catherine Perez, Barcelona Public Health Agency, Spain

David Rojas, ISGlobal, Spain

Salvador Rueda, BCNEcologia, Barcelona

Jordi Sunyer, ISGlobal, Barcelona

Rosa Surinach, UN Habitat, Spain

Cathryn Tonne, ISGlobal, Spain

Scientific organising committee,

Bruce Appleyard, San Diego State University, USA

Maria Attard, University of Malta, Malta

Eran Ben-Elia, Ben-Gurion University, Israel

Luis Bettencourt, The University of Chicago, USA

Mike Brauer, University of British Columbia, Canada

Carme Borrell, Barcelona, Spain

Florinda Boschetti, Polis Network, Belgium

Mattias Braubach, WHO, Switzerland

Bert Brunekreef, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Robert Cervero, University of California Berkeley, USA

Joan Clos, UN-Habitat, Spain

Jason Colburn, University of California Berkeley, USA

Andrew Dannenberg, University of Washington, USA

Adrian Davis, UK

Audrey de Nazelle, Imperial College London, UK

Thiago de Sa, WHO, Switzerland

Ana Diez Roux, Drexel University, USA

Sam Elrahman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

Thomas Enqvist, Stockholm Resilience Institute, Sweden

Ulf Eriksson, Trivector, Sweden

Dick Ettema, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Oliver Gao, Cornell University, USA

Regine Gerike, TU Dresden, Germany

Billie Giles-Corti, RMIT, Australia

Thomas Goetchi, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Marcus Grant, Advisor to WHO Healthy Cities programme, UK

Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

Susan Handy, University of California Davis

Eva Heinen, University of Leeds, UK

Bianca Hermansen, COurban Design Collective, Denmark

Sara Hoeflich, UCLG, Spain

Barbara Hoffman, University of Düsseldorf, Germany

Steve Ison, Loughborough University, UK

Francesco Iacorossi, Mobility Agency of Rome, Italy

Mike Jerrett, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Olga-Ioanna Kalantzi, University of the Aegean, Greece

Charlotte Kelly, University of Leeds, UK

Haneen Khreis, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, USA

Michelle Kondo, US Forest Service, USA

Roderick Lawrence, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Peter Lercher, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Canada

Robin Lovelace, University of Leeds, UK

Winy Maas, MVRDV, The Netherlands

Bhargab Maitra, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India

Karel Martens, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

Jenny Mindell, University College London, UK

Richard Mitchell, University of Glasgow, UK

George Morris, UK

Keshia Pollack, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Marco Ponti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Francesca Racioppi, WHO, Denmark

Elisabeth Raser, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria

Christopher Raymond, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Andrew Rundle, Columbia University, USA

Garett Samson, Texas A&M University, USA

Mark Stevenson, University of Melbourne, Australia

Geetam Tiwari, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India

Bruce Tonn, ThreeCubed, USA

Matilda van den Bosch, University of British Columbia, Canada

Sotiris Vardoulakis, Institute of Occupational Medicine, UK

Ersilia Verlinghieri, University of Oxford, UK

Roel Vermeulen, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Edward Owen Douglas Waygood, Laval University, Canada

Paul Wilkinson, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

Meghan Winters, Simon Fraser University, Canada

James Woodcock, University of Cambridge, UK

Razieh Zandieh, University of Manchester, UK

Josias Zietsman, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, USA

Mark Zuidgeest, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Scope of the conference

The majority of people live in cities and urbanization is continuing worldwide. Cities have long been known to be society’s predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also a main source of pollution and disease. There has been a transition to non communicable diseases (NCDs) in many low and medium income countries, partly due to urbanization and related environmental exposures and lifestyles. Furthermore, climate change is a driver for change.  Cities are often characterized by high levels of environmental exposures such as air pollution and noise, heat island effects and lack of green space and physical activity levels.  Emerging evidence suggests that (poor) urban and transport planning may be to a large extent responsible for this and may have a large impact on mortality and morbidity in cities.  Furthermore the impacts are not equally distributed among the population with the more the more deprived often suffering disproportionately.

The Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda have given new impetus to improve our cities.  Paradigms such as sustainable cities, liveable cities, resilient cities, smart cities and healthy cities have been promoted successfully by different communities, but need more alignment to make systematic improvements to cities.  New concepts such as car free cities, low carbon cities and nature based solutions and new technologies such as electric vehicles and (shared) autonomous vehicles have been introduced and may improve the urban environment and thereby health.

Current exposure to air pollution, noise and temperature have been associated with adverse health effects including increased morbidity and premature mortality, green space with both positive and negative health effects and physical activity with many health benefits.  In many cities there is still scope for further improvement in environmental quality through targeted policies. Environmental factors are highly modifiable, and environmental interventions at the community level, such as urban and transport planning, have been shown to be promising and more cost effective than interventions at the individual level. However, the urban environment is a complex interlinked system.

Decision-makers need not only better data on the complexity of factors in environmental and developmental processes affecting human health, but also enhanced understanding of the linkages to be able to know at which level to target their actions.  Cities have come to the forefront of providing solutions for issues such as climate change, which has co-benefits on health, but need better knowledge (see for example C40).

Multi-sectorial approaches are needed to tackle the current problems and therefore we have organized an international conference  with world leading experts on urban and transport planning, architecture, environmental science and exposures, physical activity, public health to discuss the current status and challenges and solutions in cities.

The objective of the conference is to promote healthy urban development by bringing together different disciplines working within cities and presenting the state of the art research and providing solutions to and future healthy visions of our cities.