Health problems associated with the built environment in areas of rapid urbanization and poverty

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If UN projections are correct, global urban populations will grow to exceed 5 billion people by the year 2025, raising cities share of world inhabitants to more than 60 percent globally. Urbanization brings about fundamental changes in the way people live and work and has profound implications for the health of those who live in cities. Along with chronic and degenerative diseases in the developed nations, the expeditious spread of infectious diseases in the developing world threatens the very cohesion of society. In 2002, twenty six percent of all worldwide deaths were the result of communicable disease infection. Around 90 per cent of infections in developing countries are attributed to water borne diseases resulting from concentrated urbanization and industrialised agricultural practices. This paper will address health problems associated with the built environment in areas of rapid urbanization and poverty, and in particular the health impacts of marginalization, social exclusion, and inequity associated with built form and dispersed settlement patterns. It argues that the accelerated pace of urbanization requires that infectious disease is understood as a global challenge of improving public health, securing socio-economic well-being, and advancing sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
VolumeVolume 2
Issue numberIssue 3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Urbanization
  • Poverty
  • Health Problems
  • Social Exclusion
  • Built Environment
  • Sustainable Development

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