Urban Policies and Health in Latin America and the Caribbean

Authored by: S. Claire Slesinski , Adriana C. Lein , Ana V. Diez Roux , Waleska T. Caiaffa

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315465456-9

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Abstract

At 80% urban, the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is among the most urbanized regions of the world. The cities of the region encompass not only many megacities but also large numbers of rapidly growing (“emerging”) small and middle-sized cities. LAC cities are also heterogeneous in physical, economic, and social environments. In addition, LAC cities are characterized by large social inequities. Most importantly, LAC cities have begun to implement policies and interventions that could impact not only health but also long-term urban environmental sustainability. The LAC region thus provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the drivers of urban health in settings with large heterogeneities and rapid transformations to inform policies to promote urban health and sustainability worldwide, especially in the global south. This chapter explores what is already known about urbanization and urban health in LAC, and describes urban policies and interventions that could have important health and environmental impacts. Policies and interventions implemented in LAC cities across the domains of urban transportation, comprehensive urban development, social inclusion, poverty reduction, promotion of healthy behaviors, and urban governance are discussed. The chapter concludes with discussion of research needs to support healthy urban policies in the region and worldwide.

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