IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Healthy cities and enviromental justice Isabelle Anguelovski

The group’s research line focuses on the social determinants of healthy and just cities and on the health and social impacts of planning and creating greener, more sustainable, and resilient cities. Many of our studies examine environmental and health inequities resulting from urban planning decisions and interventions, as well as the community actions, policies, and planning decisions able to address such inequities. We also analyze how cities integrate health risks, impacts, and emergencies into urban planning and policy, the constraints they face to bring health, health equity, and health services at the center of policy agenda, planning decisions, and implementation, and the opportunities that exist to bring health at the center of urban planning and development.

The team's empirical studies take on a multi-method approach, combining spatial, quantitative, and qualitative research, in cities in the global North and South, including in Spain, the UK, Germany, Finland, Italy, the United States, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, South Africa, India, and Australia. We bring together theory from urban planning, public policy, urban and environmental sociology, and urban geography. From June 2016 on, this research is developed under the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability umbrella.

Some of our recent projects include:

  • An analysis of neighborhood organization for improved environmental health conditions and health equity in low-income and minority districts of Boston, Barcelona and Havana
  • An examination of the social and environmental impact of community initiatives working towards healthier urban environments and low-carbon economies in the domains of food, waste, energy, and mobility. This research is taking place in Barcelona, Rome, Aberdeen, Berlin, and Oulu through the TESS FP7 project
  • An analysis of sustainable and equitable slum upgrading in Rio and Medellin. Our attention is placed on green and public space provision and equitable access to food
  • An analysis of the health and environmental inequities created by land use planning interventions for climate adaptation in Boston, New York, New Orleans, Durban, Jakarta, Dhaka, Manilla, Surat, Santiago, and Medellin.
  • An evaluation of the social impact of green space and park creation in Barcelona.
  • An analysis of the implications of socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity for understanding and addressing health inequities in New York

Relevant current projects  

  • Optimisation of Urbanising Environments for Population Health (OPTIMUM), Wellcome Trust. Lead PI: M. Nieuwenhuijsen (CREAL); Co-PIs: A. Plasencia (ISGlobal), W. Maas (TU Delft), I. Anguelovski (UAB), E. Chu (UvA), S. Rueda (BCNecologia), C. Tonne (CREAL), G. Lopez-Casasnovas (UPF), C. Dora (WHO), R. Suriñach (UN-Habitat) 2016 (39.490 Euros), Co-PI
  • Project I+D+I, MINECO, Spain (CSO2015-65066-R) “Urban Frontiers: Dispossession, resilience, and resistance in extreme urban spaces (En las fronteras de lo urbano: Desposesion, resiliencia y resistencia en espacios) 2016-2020 (20.500 Euros), Co-PI
  • Maria de Maetzu, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, 2016-2020 (2 million Euros), Co-responsible PI
  • ERC Starting Grant, GREENLULUS Ranked #1 in SH3 panel, Principal Investigator, European Research Council, 2016-2021 (1.5 million Euros), PI  
  • Ramon y Cajal Fellowship, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, 2016-2021, PI
  • FP7 ENVIRONMENT Collaborative grant, TESS (Towards European Societal Sustainability), European Commission, 2013-2016 (396,134 Euros), UAB PI

Relevant publications



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