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Policy Briefs

Lessons from Latin American Cities

Policy-relevant urban health research generates knowledge that policy- and decision-makers can use to improve health and reduce health inequities. Through its Salud Urbana en América Latina (SALURBAL) project, The Urban Health Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC-Urban Health) promotes urban health research and the translation of scientific evidence into real-world solutions.

SALURBAL produces policy and research briefs for policymakers, researchers, and members of civil society and the private sector working to improve health in Latin America's cities.

Making the Invisible, Visible: Race, Racism, and Health Data

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Present-day Latin America has been shaped by the region’s legacy of colonization and slavery.

To advance research and action on racial/ethnic health inequities in Latin American countries, local, state, and national decision-makers must improve the collection of high-quality data on race and ethnicity and make it available to researchers and all society.

English PDF
Español PDF
Português PDF

Climate Change and Urban Health

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Urban areas across Latin America face increasing health impacts from climate change. This brief describes what we know about the current and future impacts of climate change on health and health equity, what some cities in Latin America are doing to maximize the co-benefits of climate action, and what urban policymakers and public health researchers can do to support effective urban policies and interventions. (April 2022)

Climate Health and Urban Health (English PDF) Cambio Climático y la Salud Urbana en América Latina(Español PDF)
Mudanças Climáticas e Saúde Urbana na América Latina
(Português PDF)

Public Transportation and Active Transportation During the Pandemic

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El transporte público colectivo y el transporte activo en tiempos de pandemia outlines key recommendations for adapting and supporting public mass transit and active transportation systems to promote safe, healthy, and equitable mobility in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first brief in SALURBAL’s new mini-series, COVID-19 and Urban Health in Latin America. (November 2020)

El Transporte Público Colectivo y el Transporte Activo
en Tiempos de Pandemia (Español PDF)

Public Transportation and Active Transportation
During the Pandemic (English PDF)

Transporte público coletivo e transporte ativo em tempos de pandemia (Português PDF)


Knowledge to Policy Translation for Urban Health

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How can urban health research drive the development of evidence-based policies? Knowledge to Policy Translation for Urban Health: Lessons from Latin American Cities explores how knowledge about the links between urban environments and health can inform action to promote urban health and health equity and contribute to environmental sustainability.
The document reviews challenges and opportunities related to knowledge to policy translation for urban health in Latin America and presents concrete actions for improving how the research community engages with policymakers and other actors. (February 2020)

Knowledge to Policy Translation (English PDF)
Del Conocimiento a las Políticas para la Salud Urbana (Español PDF)
Transposição do Conhecimento para à Ação Política (Português PDF)

Health in All Urban Policies

Photo of the cover page of the Health in All Urban Policies brief

Health in All Urban Policies: Lessons from Latin American Cities outlines the core principles of a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach to understanding how urban environments affect health, and how urban policies and interventions across sectors can impact the health of people living in cities. This policy brief was co-produced by the SALURBAL project in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and describes initiatives by each organization to advance HiAP implementation. The 12-page booklet provides an introduction to key concepts related to HiAP, research and evidence to support this approach, and recommendations for policymakers and for the academic community for leveraging action across sectors to promote health, equity, and environmental sustainability. (October 2019)

Health in All Urban Policies (English PDF)
Salud en Todas las Políticas Urbanas (Español PDF) 
Saúde em Todas as Políticas Urbanas (Português PDF)

Planning Health Evaluations of Housing and Neighborhood Interventions

Photo of the cover page of the Planning Health Evaluations policy brief

Planning Health Evaluations of Housing and Neighborhood Interventions: Lessons from Latin America​ discusses opportunities to integrate health evaluations into the design and implementation of urban policies. Housing and neighborhood interventions can be important interventions that deliver packaged benefits to improve urban health and well-being, but more evidence is needed regarding their effects under different conditions and the pathways underlying these effects to inform policy changes. The policy brief details potential health effects and evaluation designs, recommendations for intersectoral planning, and shares three case studies of current evaluations from the SALURBAL project. (May 2019)

Planning Health Evaluations of Housing and Neighborhood Interventions (English PDF)
Planificación de Evaluaciones de Salud de Intervenciones Públicas en Temas de Vivienda y Vecindarios (Español PDF)
Avaliações dos Efeitos na Saúde de Políticas Urbanas em Áreas Vulneráveis (Português PDF)

Food and Urban Health

Photo of the cover page of the sustainable transport policy brief

Food and Urban Health: Lessons from Latin America presents leading challenges in urban nutrition in the context of demographic changes, poverty, and markets and regulations. The policy brief describes mechanisms that can be implemented to affect food-related behaviors and consumption, and highlights innovative policies, laws, and programs from the region. Recommendations build upon best regional practices and suggest integrated and intersectoral responses. (May 2018)

Food and Urban Health (English PDF)
Alimentación y Salud Urbana (Español PDF)
Alimentação e Saúde Urbana (Português PDF)

Sustainable Transport and Urban Health

Photo of the cover page of the sustainable transport policy brief

Sustainable Transport and Urban Health: Lessons from Latin America explores strategies and interventions from throughout the region that support active transport and mobility in cities. The policy brief gives an overview of the key areas of transportation policies, regional trends, case studies of policies in major cities, and discusses the contributions of Latin America to global efforts in urban policies and health. (Nov. 2017)

Sustainable Transportation and Urban Health (English PDF)
Transporte Sostenible y Salud Urbana (Español PDF)
Transporte Sustentável e Saúde Urbana (Português PDF)