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The Global Urban Health Project is based on interdisciplinary research of determinants and geographical disparities of health and disease as well as on accessibility to medical care and environmental protection in urban settings.

In the context of the rapid urbanization worldwide improving urban health has become and increasingly important task, requiring a multidisciplinary approach. A comprehensive understanding of key issues is needed, adding aspects of social learning for the design and implementation of improved prevention strategies, communication between stakeholders and researchers, politics and health economics in urban areas.
Our Research Focus integrates bio-psycho-social concepts of health incorporating physical, sociocultural and environmental factors with a focus on specific urban health risks and problems, such as the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases, including mental disorders, the dual-burden of obesity and malnutrition and cardio-vascular diseases. Solutions include expertise from environmental medicine, public health and psychosomatics acting jointly on three different urban settings to support the generation of new concepts and applications.

A connecting link throughout our entire research focus is evolutionary anthropology, which concentrates on the adaptive value of risk exposure and behavioral compensation.
Due to existing partnerships and a series of discussions at two meetings in Pennsylvania/ USA and Freiburg/ Germany, Cape Town has been selected as the model city for implementing the interdisciplinary research project presented here.

In collaboration with our partners the Faculty of Health Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa and The Pennsylvania State University we aim to develop models for improving health of disadvantaged population groups and reducing disparities and health risks.


International collaborating institutions:



frias.JPGGroup picture Urban Health