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A Comparative Analysis of Global Datasets and Initiatives for Urban Health and Sustainability

Taylor, JG; Haines, A; Milner, J; Davies, M; Wilkinson, P; (2018) A Comparative Analysis of Global Datasets and Initiatives for Urban Health and Sustainability. Sustainability , 10 (10) , Article 3636. 10.3390/su10103636. Green open access

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Abstract

Globally, urban populations are growing rapidly, and in most cases their demands for resources are beyond current limits of sustainability. Cities are therefore critical for achieving national and international sustainability objectives, such as greenhouse gas reduction. Improving sustainability may also provide opportunities for urban population health co-benefits by reducing unhealthy exposures and behaviours. However, there is currently sparse empirical evidence on the degree to which city characteristics are associated with variations in health-related exposures, behaviours and sustainability. This paper examines the feasibility of aggregating empirical data relating to sustainability and health for global cities. An initial scoping review of existing English-language datasets and networks is performed. Resulting datasets are analysed for data types, collection method, and the distribution of contributing cities across climates, population sizes, and wealth. The review indicates datasets are populated using inconsistent methodologies and metrics and have poor overlap of cities between them. Data and organisations tend to be biased towards larger and wealthier cities, and concentrated in Europe and North America. Therefore, despite vast amounts of available data, limitations of reliability, representativeness, and disparate sources mean researchers are faced with significant obstacles when aggregating data to analyse the sustainability and health of globally representative samples of cities.

Type: Article
Title: A Comparative Analysis of Global Datasets and Initiatives for Urban Health and Sustainability
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/su10103636
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su10103636
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Keywords: Urban; health; sustainability; data; organizations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058349
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