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Información Mooc

Urbanisation and Health

Coordinador(a): Ester Higueras García
Idioma: Inglés
Convocatoria: Otro
Miembros que lo componen
Nombre Centro / Entidad
Ester Higueras García E.T.S. ARQUITECTURA
José Fariña Tojo E.T.S. ARQUITECTURA
Angela Freitas CEGOT-Universidad de Coimbra
Flemming Konradsen Universidad de Copenhague
Francisco Lamíquiz Daudén E.T.S. DE ARQUITECTURA
Miguel Padeiro CEGOT-Universidad de Coimbra,
Elisa Pozo Menendez E.T.S. de Arquitectura
Objetivos del mooc

Este MOOC permitirá al estudiante aprender sobre:

  1. tendencias, retos y políticas locales y globales que tienen impacto en la salud urbana
  2. agentes responsables e implicados en las ciudades
  3. metodologías de investigación participativas
  4. principios de innovación y emprendimiento.
Objetivos del aprendizaje
Los estudiantes también adquirirán las competencias para analizar y discutir las dinámicas del desarrollo urbano con referencias bibliográficas y evidencias de estudios de caso.
Contenidos y breve descripción de cada capítulo


As long as cities have existed, they have provided an important framework for human life, and urban planning and design practices have impacted the quality of the citizens? lives. While conditions and demography change and cities grow in size all over the world, new challenges arise and new approaches and interventions are required to secure healthy urban living.

Video 1.1. Urbanisation - a macro level determinants of urban health

Introduction to health challenges that are particularly prevalent in urban settings, incl. spread and containment of a virus with examples from all around the world.

Video 1.2. The ever-changing values of urban design

Lecture by Gertrud Jørgensen,introducing urbanization trends and patterns back from the ancient Greece and Rome and up through history until today w. examples and front figures (Jane Jacobs, Corbusier etc.) looking into the ever-changing needs and values that have guided urban planning and design, how this is reflected in the organization and function of the urban space and its impact on health and wellbeing.

Video 1.3. How can urban planning and design contribute to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular the health and wellbeing of the citizens

Health is an indicator of and a prerequisite to sustainable development. Natural disasters, epidemics and climate change highlight the intertwined existence of humans and their environment, nowhere more so than in cities. There is growing awareness of the need for resilient urban environments that can protect and promote both population and planetary health. Sustainable urbanization is one of our greatest challenges today.

The video will include an introduction to the SDGs and an interview with a representative from Gehl about the implications of urbanization and impact of urban planning and design in terms of health and wellbeing and sustainable development particularly in cities.


Ageing is rapidly accelerating worldwide: by 2050, the number of people aged 65+ will have more than doubled to reach 1.5 billion. In an increasingly ageing and urbanizing world, there is a need to fully take into account the changing geography, needs, and expectations of a growing aged population.

Video 2.1. Challenges of global ageing in an urbanising world

A global approach on ageing to set the scene: the changing geography of ageing, with the demographic processes explained, maps and numbers, forecasts, and interregional/intraregional variations (which includes urban/rural areas).

Video 2.2. How place affects ageing

How different features of the physical, social, and service environment contribute to (or hamper) better health and well-being in later life.

Video 2.3. Measuring and implementing age-friendliness

An exploration of how: (i) age-friendliness can be measured and improved at the local scale.; (ii) the main drivers of urban change can affect older persons


Video 3.1. Bicycling ?challenges and opportunities

Trine on a bike tour with stops along the way, demonstrating incentives and habits in Copenhague

Video 3.2. Bending the curve of diabetes

Short description:Understanding diabetes challenges in cities, setting goals for halting the rise of type 2 diabetes, working across sectors and disciplines to unite stakeholders Introduction to the new Urban Diabetes Action Framework

Video 3.3. Physical activity in an urban environment

Short description:When exercising ? whether for transport purposes, recreational activities/sports or competitive sports ? it is useful to know, what happens to your body. Key questions are: Why is it important to be physically active, and what are the possibilities in an urban environment?


There is high evidence that nature in cities is more than an environmental issue, but it is directly related with physical and mental health too. From large to small scale, strategies and design to plan and introduce Nature-Based Solutions in cities is a great challenge nowadays. Ecosystem services include regulation and production of goods and materials, where it is important to highlight climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as urban farming, as cities and their citizens should start to reduce their environmental footprint, are some of the issues new urban healthier planning should address.

Video 4.1. Blue and green infrastructure, from theory to design

Blue and green infrastructure has been acknowledged in urban planning to create a coherent and consistent natural continuity within territories and cities. The video will address the importance of planning green and blue infrastructures at different scales to address this challenge by innovative design of Nature based Solutions.

Video 4.2. The strategies for climate change and health benefits.

Pollution influences the city's environmental conditions and causes the urban heat island effect, which implies potential risks in respiratory diseases and an increase in thermal shocks due to excessive cold or heat. Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures can be implemented in the city (increased temperatures and more extreme episodes of cold and heat waves).

Video 4.3. Agro in the Urban Context

Contact with biodiversity and nature is a substantial issue of well-being. Enhancing the peri-urban urban ecosystem and its integration into the city through community gardens and urban farms on a local scale is a way of approaching nature in the city, due to its potential as a space for socialization and health promotion. So, it is proposed to overcome agro dissociation versus urbs.


Air and noise pollution presents huge health burdens, especially to the population in urban environments where traffic is a major source of the contamination.

The module will provide an overview of air and noise pollution over the past decades globally, in Europe (and in particular in Denmark, Spain, Portugal) and showexamples of how this is impacting the health of urban populations(incl. figures of levels of pollution during COVID-19 lockdowns)and what can be done to reduce the harm

Video 5.1. Air Pollution

What are the most polluted cities and areas around the world? The lecture will introducemain air pollutants and (EU) limit values for air pollution, main health effects related to air pollution and interventions

Video 5.2. Noise and sound: How people perceive, receive, relate and react to their sonic environments.

Many people don?t realise noise pollution as an important problem, impacting human health. There are many more premature deaths associated with air pollution than with noise. However, noise seems to have a larger impact on indicators related to quality of life and mental health. In fact, according to some World Health Organization (WHO) findings, noise is the second largest environmental cause of health problems, just after the impact of air pollution (particulate matter).

Video 5.3. How air and noise pollution challenges and solutions interrelate with other factors in the urban context

How air and noise pollution challenges and solutions interrelate with other factors in the urban context

Elementos multimeda e innovadores
  • Cada vídeo incluye entrevistas y aportaciones de expertos internacionales en salud urbana
  • Cuestionarios de autoevaluación a lo largo de todos los módulos
  • Lecturas obligatorias y recursos online, como libros, artículos de investigación con evidencia científica, páginas web y apps (en open access)
  • Lecturas opcionales y otros recursos
  • Foro de discusión

Dentro del proyecto europeo, se está valorando ampliar el contenido en una segunda fase con ejercicios prácticos para evaluación de los entornos construidos de la ciudad, corrección por pares.

Destinatarios, perfil del alumno potencial
Estudiantes de grado y de posgrado, investigadores y profesionales de diferentes sectores, como epidemiología, psicología, arquitectura, geografía, gerontología, ciencias ambientales, ciencias sociales, biología, ingenierías, etc.
Actividades de evaluación del curso
Cada uno de los módulos incluye 1 cuestionario con 5 preguntas de respuesta auto-corregida.
Actividades de dinamización previstas
Cada uno de los módulos incluye lecturas y materiales de consulta obligatorios para la superación del curso, así como otras referencias de interés opcionales.