Sustainable urban development - the public health dimension
Public health in England developed during the first half of the nineteenth century with concern for sanitation in urban areas. Since that time environment, behaviour, social relationships, health services and genetic constitution are all recognized to contribute to health and disease in populations. Sustainable development is now of global concern, and its foundations-economy, environment and society-are similar to the determinants of health. However, while improved environment will have an important contribution to health, the broader social objectives are also needed to avoid the downward cycle of inequality and cultural deterioration that has occurred in some western cities. Epidemiological studies at University College London are particularly concerned with these social dimensions, and research opportunities exist for collaboration with environmental sciences in a number of areas, including intersectoral work, societies in social transition, collaboration with business, and research within through the European Union.