Improving Population Health in a Rapidly Urbanizing World
All authors:
as above
Host organisation: CoE New York, USA
Publication year: 2010
Published in:
Urban Health perspectives vulnerable Populations
Research theme: Mobility and Access
Population health, Africa, Asia, population growth, urban poor, urbanizing
Book chapter
In 2008, for the first time in history more than half of the world´s population (over 3.3 billion people) was classified as living in urbanized places as distinct from rural areas. By 2025, 57 percent of the population will live in urban settings. By 2050, the urban population will be an estimated 6.4 billion people — or almost 70 percent of the world´s predicted total population of approximately 9 billion. It will be the urbanizing areas in the developing world1 that will absorb almost all of this growth. Over the next four decades, the urban population of these places is expected to increase by more than 120 percent (from 2.4 billion in 2007 to 5.3 billion in 2050).2 Urban population growth is expected to be most rapid in Africa and Asia, which are currently only about 40 percent urban (United Nations Population Division, 2008). This global urban transformation and its most rapid advance in the least developed portions of the world means that unless measures are taken to reduce gaping inequalities accompanying this urban transformation, much of urban population growth will result in a significant increase of the number of urban poor, many of whom will live in slums. About one billion people already live in slums today. These are places of concentrated extreme disadvantage, which concentrate health risks. The health of populations on our rapidly urbanizing planet depends to a large extent on how we address the issue of urban poverty to achieve health equity. To begin, we need to more fully understand the ways that urban life aggravates or mitigates threats to population health.
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The VREF invites Sub-Saharan based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable
mobility and access or related areas, and strong interest in carrying out interdisciplinary research. Open for application until 2020-09-29


The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call extended to April 30, 2020 due to COVID19.


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Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

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