Urbanisation and Health (8 edition)


This course will introduce you about the key determinants of urban health. You will get a historical overview of the major trends in urban planning and meet a range of stakeholders in urban planning who will provide examples of innovative method and people-centered approaches to create sustainable solutions.
*The content of this course is in English, with videos subtitled both in Spanish and Portuguese (European).

Taught by:
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

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The rapid urbanization of the world’s population has resulted in inadequate infrastructure, physical inactivity, gentrification, air pollution and growing numbers of slum dwellers. All factors challenging health and wellbeing of the people living in the cities. As stated in the SDG11 (UN, 2015) societies need to be at the forefront in the continuous management and design of urban spaces to secure that cities and human settlements are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

In this course, you will learn about the key determinants of urban health including demography, climate change, air pollution, noise, transport systems, blue and green spaces, and policies affecting sense of community and public safety. You will get a historical overview of the major trends in urban planning and meet a range of stakeholders in urban planning who will provide examples of innovative methods and people-centered approaches to create sustainable solutions.

The course has been developed (with support from EIT Health) in a partnership between the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Madrid and University of Coimbra.

Course registration allows you to view the content free of charge and complete the assessment activities.

Duration: 26 hours of study

Start: 18/03/2024

End: 21/04/2024

Target audience: 

  • Graduate and postgraduate students, researchers and professionals of different sectors, such as epidemiology, psychology, architecture, geography, gerontology, environmental sciences, social sciences, biology, engineering, etc.

This MOOC will focus on the following topics

  • Trends, challenges and local and global policies that have an impact on urban health
  • Involved agents and stakeholders in cities
  • Participatory research methodologies
  • Principles of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Students will also acquire the skills to analyze and discuss the dynamics of urban development with bibliographic references and evidence from case studies.


  • Module 0. Welcome and introduction to the course
    • Video 0.0. Welcome to the MOOC “Urbanisation and Health”.
  • Module 1. How urbanisation, health, and urban planning relate.
    • Video 1.1. Determinants of Urban Health
    • Video 1.2. Changing Values of Urban Planning through History
    • Video 1.3. Air Pollution
    • Video 1.4. Noise and Sound
  • Module 2. Ageing and Gentrification
    • Video 2.1. Challenges of Global Ageing in an Urbanising World
    • Video 2.2. How place affects ageing
    • Video 2.3. Gentrification and health
  • Module 3. Nature based solutions
    • Video 3.1. How Blue and Green Infrastructure Promote Human Health
    • Video 3.2. Climate Change and Health
    • Video 3.3. Urban Farming
    • Video 3.4. Physical Activity in an Urban Environment
  • Module 4. Innovative Solutions
    • Video 4.1. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals through Urban Planning and Design
    • Video 4.2. Assessing the Impacts of Urban and Transport Planning on Health
    • Video 4.3. Bending the Curve of Urban Diabetes
  • Module 5. Innovation and communication
    • Video 5.1. Innovation and Health
    • Video 5.2. Building a Great Story
    • Video 5.3. Visualize data to support your case


Flemming Konradsen
Flemming Konradsen, a professor of international environmental health at the University of Copenhagen, has more than twenty years of research and programming experience in the field of environmental health and global health. He is also the director of the Copenhagen School of Global Health. Professor Konradsen focuses his research on human health related to water supply, sanitation and hygiene; acute pesticide poisoning; and control of vector borne diseases in Asia, Africa and Europe. Research methods include epidemiology, qualitative studies, costing studies, health promotion and health systems analysis. He has extensive experience from multidisciplinary field based research. Professor Konradsen is responsible for a number of programs aimed at building research capacity at university level in Asia and Africa and has significant involvement with educational programs in East Africa, South Asia and the Nordic region. Flemming Konradsen has worked for international research organisations, universities, development NGOs and national research organizations.
Elisa Pozo
Elisa Pozo is architect and urban planner, MsC in Villes durables (UPEM-IFU, 2014) and MsC in Environment and Bioclimatic Architecture at UPM (MAYAB, 2019). She is currently researcher in ABIO-UPM Group and PhD candidate on active ageing and urbanism, coordinating European projects at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid on innovative education and urban health. She works and collaborates with different studios and engineering teams. Since 2006 she has collaborated in multiple NGOs and associations, working with vulnerable collectives.
Ângela Freitas
Ângela Freitas is a Ph.D. Research Fellow in Human Geography at the University of Coimbra and member of the Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT-UC). Her main fields of research include urban health, healthy urban planning, policy health impact assessment and participatory research. Her Ph.D. explores the role that local governments can play in promoting population health and well-being and the impact of municipal policies on health equity.
Miguel Padeiro
Miguel Padeiro is an Assistant Professor in Human Geography at the University of Coimbra and member of the Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT-UC). His main fields of research include land-use and urban planning, ageing and age-friendly environments, urban health, transport and mobility issues.
Esther Higueras García
Full-time professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) Ester Higueras is doctor of architecture, professor in the master Environment and Bioclimatic Architecture (UPM) and in the master Territorial Planning (UPM). She has participated in many courses of postgraduate degree and conferences. She is team member of the research group ABIO (Bioclimatic Architecture in a Sustainable Environment – UPM). Since the lecture of her PhD thesis in 1997, she has been combining both theory and practice in projects of environmental planning, bioclimatic urban design, passive strategies applied to urban scale, cultural landscape and environmental policies.


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