UHC Awarded Three Major Grants to Advance Climate Change and Urban Health Research
December 15, 2023
Building on an established base of research and partnerships, the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) was recently awarded three grants that affirm its role as a major urban health and climate change research hub.
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The Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center (CCUH)
Leveraging the UHC's broad network of partners across Latin America and the United States, this grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support establishment of the Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center (CCUH). The CCUH will provide the organizational structure and data infrastructure required to drive action-oriented research on the impacts of climate change on health and health inequities in diverse cities across the Americas.
A core component of the CCUH centers on capacity building and includes structured training activities for urban health researchers in climate connections as well as pilot grants and additional funding to support early career climate and health researchers across the region. The Center also has a special focus on engaging scientists from groups underepresented in health research.
The CCUH research project will examine inequities in the effects of extreme heat on mortality in within cities in the U.S. and Latin America, demonstrating the feasibility and relevance of this approach and supporting future evidence production. The CCUH will also include a core focused on increasing capacity for policy translation and maximizing the policy impact of research on climate change and health, which will engage policy and community actors across the Americas to inform Center activities, approach, and outputs.
- Funding agency: National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
- Geographic focus: Urban areas across the United States, Brazil, Guatemala, and Panama
- Institutional partners: Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Guatemala / University of São Paulo, Brazil / Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) Brazil / University of California at Berkeley, USA
- Total funding awarded: USD 3 million
- Duration: Three years, starting September 2023
Building upon over six successful years of the Wellcome Trust-funded Urban Health in Latin America (SALURBAL) Project, SALURBAL-Climate addresses a critical need for evidence linking climate change to health impacts across Latin America.
The project will expand the unprecedented SALURBAL data resource, which encompasses nearly 400 cities across 11 counties and includes data on mortality, demographics, health risk factors, and physical, natural, and socioeconomic environments – in many cases at the city, sub-city, and neighborhood levels.
By updating and expanding this resource, SALURBAL-Climate will make possible research on the impacts of specific climate related exposures (e.g. extreme temperatures, droughts, floods, air pollution, ) on health and health inequities, and the role of city and neighborhood-level factors in exacerbating or buffering these impacts. The team will also perform two Health Impact Assessments on urban interventions in Bogotá, Colombia and Santiago, Chile, and leverage Comparative Risk Assessment tools to model the impact of potential climate adaptation and mitigation strategies within the region. A series of targeted capacity strengthening activities will address needs at the individual, institutional, and societal levels.
By reinforcing and extending SALURBAL's network of community and policy partnerships, SALURBAL-Climate will engage a network of local and regional partners to inform research, capacity strengthening, and advocacy and ensure project activities respond to local and regional needs and priorities.
- Funding agency: The Wellcome Trust, Climate Research Partnerships
- Geographic focus: Urban areas in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru
- Institutional partners: University of California at Berkeley, USA / University of Los Andes, Colombia / University of São Paulo, Brazil / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Brazil / Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil / Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, Guatemala / Cayetano Heredia University, Peru / University of Chile, Chile / Catholic University of Chile, Chile / National Institute of Public Health, Mexico / National University of Lánus, Argentina
- Total funding awarded: USD 7.5 million
- Duration: Five years, starting November 2023
Urban Inequality and Spatial Distribution of Heat Mortality in Brazilian Cities
Addressing underlying social factors can be an important step in mitigating the health impacts of heat waves. However, very little research on this topic is available for Latin America, one of the most urbanized and unequal regions in the world. To address this research gap and policy need, the World Resources Institute (WRI), WRI Brasil, SALURBAL, and WRI Mexico will undertake a project to understand the spatial relationship between neighborhood-scale heat mortality and neighborhood social and characteristics in two Brazilian cities and use these findings to inform public policy considerations at national and local scales. The team will implement a scalable local engagement methodology to align research with needs, build local capacity for action and help design public policies and interventions to mitigate impacts on health from extreme heat and other climate hazards.
- Funding agency: The Wellcome Trust, Climate Impact Awards
- Geographic focus: Two urban areas in Brazil (Belo Horizonte and Campinas).
- Institutional partners: World Resources Institute (WRI) / WRI-Brazil / WRI-Mexico / University of São Paulo, Brazil / Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Brazil / University of California at Berkeley, USA
- Total funding awarded: USD 1 million
- Duration: Three years, starting January 2024 (anticipated)
Learn more about climate change initiatives and education at the Urban Health Collaborative