The research community has shown increasing interest in developing and using metrics to determine the relationships between urban living and health. In particular, we have seen a recent exponential increase in efforts aiming to investigate and apply metrics for urban health, especially the health impacts of the social and built environments as well as air pollution. A greater recognition of the need to investigate the impacts and trends of health inequities is also evident through more recent literature. Data availability and accuracy have improved through new affordable technologies for mapping, geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing. However, less research has been conducted in low- and middle-income countries where quality data are not always available, and capacity for analyzing available data may be limited. For this increased interest in research and development of metrics to be meaningful, the best available evidence must be accessible to decision makers to improve health impacts through urban policies.


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