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Aims and Activities

Drivers of Health in Cities

The Salud Urbana en América Latina (SALURBAL) project is compiling and harmonizing data on health and the social and physical environments of cities, such as mortality, risk factor prevalence, poverty and other social and economic characteristics, features of urban form and transportation, air pollution, and access to various resources. SALURBAL researchers will use this data to answer questions about how differences in social and physical environments within and across cities impact health and health inequities. Data sources include vital statistics, surveys, censuses, and other data on physical and social environments.  

Urban Policies and Interventions

The Latin America region has a history of experimenting with urban policies in different sectors. Capitalizing on this unique policy environment, the SALURBAL project is using quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate the health and environmental impact of select urban policies, programs, and interventions.

SALURBAL focuses on four specific policy areas:

  • Mobility and emissions control
  • Comprehensive urban development
  • Social inequalities
  • Promotion of healthy behaviors

Systems Thinking for Urban Health

Cities are complex systems. The SALURBAL team will use systems approaches to gain insight into the dynamic relations between the urban environment, health, and environmental sustainability, and to identify the plausible impacts of selected policies under varying conditions. In the first stage of the project, stakeholders and researchers will use the tools of participatory group model building to develop conceptual maps linking transportation and food policies to health. In a second stage, researchers will develop formal simulation models in order to explore the plausible impact of policies and interventions.

Research Translation

The SALURBAL project team works to translate research findings into clear and actionable insights. Collaborators disseminate their findings through a variety of platforms to key stakeholders: researchers and the scientific community, policymakers, the private sector, civil society, and the public. The goal of the project is to support civil society, policymakers and governments as they work to build cities that are healthy, equitable, and sustainable.

Read our policy and scientific briefs