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Health Impact Evaluation of Vila Viva Project in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

image of building site in Brazil

Project Summary

In many low- and middle-income countries, rapid urbanization over the past decades has resulted in the growth of informal settlements or “slums”.  A number of urban redevelopment initiatives have focused on improving living conditions in these informal settlements through comprehensive interventions that include housing and infrastructure improvements, enhancements to public spaces and built environments, and social programs and community engagement. One such program based in Brasil is the Vila Viva Program.  Despite the growth of these programs, their health and environmental impacts have been infrequently documented. 

A team of researchers from the Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte at the Federal University of Minas Gerais will capitalize on a natural experiment resulting from the sequential implementation of the Vila Viva program in several informal settlements in Belo Horizonte. The team will characterize the timing and components of the interventions and compile and georeference longitudinal data on mortality and hospitalizations over multiple years before and after program implementation. Researchers will then examine whether trends over time change before and after program implementation and differ depending on whether the informal settlement did or did not receive the intervention. 

By quantifying health impacts, this project will help motivate urban redevelopment interventions and provide evidence relevant to the identification of the most effective strategies.

Research Team

Amélia Augusta de Lima Friche, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Waleska Teixeira Caiaffa, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Amanda Cristina de Souza Andrade, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Roseli Gomes de Andrade, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Stephanie Marques Moura Franco Belga, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Dário Alves da Silva Costa, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Nelson Gouveia, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo
Maria Angélica de Salles Dias, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Rebecca Barbosa De Decco Monteiro Marinho, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Lídia Maria de Oliveira Morais, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Veneza Berenice de Oliveira, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Aline Dayrell Ferreira Sales, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais
Mariana de Melo Santos, Observatory for Urban Health in Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Minas Gerais


The SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en América Latina, or “Urban Health in Latin America”) project is implementing this evaluation with support from the Wellcome Trust [205177/Z/16/Z].