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Healthy Aging in European Cities: Understanding Aging in an Urban Context

UHC and Dornsife School of Public Health researchers are modeling healthy aging in European and North American cities

Senior couple walking in Lyon


Researchers at the Urban Health Collaborative and the Dornsife School of Public Health are identifying the social, environmental and policy factors that contribute to healthy aging in cities. This project will develop and make use of a unique, harmonized database that integrates existing longitudinal aging studies across 10 European cities, as well as cities in Canada and the U.S. This project will also develop extensive measures of risk factors and social and environmental determinants. In addition, researchers will develop complex systems models that can be used to explore the effects of urban policies on health in older persons living in urban environments, with a special focus on mental health.


University of Memphis; Erasmus MC, Department of Public Health; London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), LSE Health; University of Helsinki; University College London (UCL); Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); VU Medical Center (VUMC), Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics; French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM); University of Hamburg, Geriatrics Research Department at the Albertinen-Haus, Centre of Geriatrics and Gerontology; University of Turin, Regional Epidemiology Unit ASL TO3; McMaster University, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre; and King’s College London.

Research Methods

Although systems approaches have received increasing attention in public health, few studies have used complex systems approaches to study the impact of policies on urban health problems. As part of this project, the Urban Health Collaborative is leading the development of the use of agent-based models to study the impact of policies related to transportation and access to goods and services on the mental health of older urban residents. These approaches help researchers gain insight into the causes of urban health problems and provide policy makers with valuable tools to explore policy impacts.


Research Team


Funding is provided by the European Commission Research & Innovation organization and the Horizon 2020 program.