The Urban Health Lab produces scientific evidence for the effective design and implementation of urban health and safety programs through mobile biosensing, space-time measurements, field observation, randomized trials, and community engagement.
Located at the University of Pennsylvania, the Urban Health Lab brings together university, community, and government partners around projects with the highest potential for impact. These projects typically have 3 cardinal features; they are:
Click below to see our work with the US Public Health Service, the City of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society:
Editor's Choice Podcast
"Health Smart" Planning and Urban Development Must Lead
The twenty-first-century city is the greatest opportunity for sustainable commerce, economic prosperity, and intellectual growth that humankind has ever known. But what of human health? What of the enormous opportunities our rapidly changing cities now pose for making people healthier and, by extension, happier and more productive than ever? Electric power grids, water treatment plants, building codes, and roadway redesign did more to enhance the health of twentieth-century city residents than many (maybe any) other programs, including medical care. If they have not already done so, twenty-first-century cities should make “health smart” planning and urban development a leading municipal pursuit. Physicians and police chiefs, sanitarians and city planners should all be on the same team, working to change the very structures of their cities and sustainably transforming health for large numbers of people over multiple generations. Somewhere along the way we forgot the power of these seemingly strange connections. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle them and put health prominently back into the equation for sustainable growth in our cities.
Have an exciting urban development program that needs a scientist?
Want to replicate one of our urban programs in your city? Email us.