11 April 2016

Expertise from three continents will lead to innovative solutions

Utrecht, Toronto and Hong Kong combining research into healthy cities

Utrecht University, the University of Toronto and the Chinese University of Hong Kong will carry out joint research into healthy urban living. This is the first time that expertise on and insights into urban issues from three different urban regions of the world have been brought together. The research should lead to new, sustainable solutions for the global challenges caused by population growth in cities.

All over the world, more and more people are living in cities. This is turning research into urban issues such as healthy urban living and urban dynamics into a global challenge. Three universities from different urban regions of the world are joining forces and combining their expertise in order to strengthen the impact of scientific research on the urban environment. The collaboration focuses on research into migration, on the role of citizens in society and on health in the urban environment.

Public Health

One of the key research areas for scientists from the three universities is ‘Public Health’. Using Big Data and new measuring methods, the effect of how people live, work and interact with their physical and social environments on the three different continents is being measured. Using a combination of sensors, wearables, physical and statistical models, the data is collected and the impact of the living environment and 24-hour economy on human health is then analysed. In addition, the universities are also examining how biological measurements could be used to quantify the impact of the living environment on human health more effectively.

Cities, Science and Innovation: the international context

On April 11th, an international City Seminar is held in Utrecht city hall. At this event, knowledge from various fields of research on the subject of healthy cities was exchanged. The presidents of the three universities discussed the factors which influence both the challenges and the solutions for cities of the future and the importance of collaboration. These include citizenship in the 21st century, the rules of an open society, climate change, sustainability, diversity, creativity and leadership. Earlier in the day, the three universities signed a partnership agreement.

Utrecht University

Utrecht is focusing its interdisciplinary research on four themes, including sustainability, institutions for open societies, life sciences and dynamics of youth. By combining expertise in these areas, Utrecht University will be able to develop integral solutions to sustainability issues and contribute to a better future for the next generations.

University of Toronto

Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is a world-renowned community of 85,000 students and 13,000 faculty members, located in one of the world’s most vibrant and multicultural cities.

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a leading comprehensive research university with a global reputation. Located in the heart of Asia, CUHK has a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.