Urbanization, extreme events, and health: the case for systems approaches in mitigation, management, and response

José Gabriel Siri, Barry Newell, Katrina Proust, Anthony Capon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Extreme events, both natural and anthropogenic, increasingly affect cities in terms of economic losses and impacts on health and well-being. Most people now live in cities, and Asian cities, in particular, are experiencing growth on unprecedented scales. Meanwhile, the economic and health consequences of climate-related events are worsening, a trend projected to continue. Urbanization, climate change and other geophysical and social forces interact with urban systems in ways that give rise to complex and in many cases synergistic relationships. Such effects may be mediated by location, scale, density, or connectivity, and also involve feedbacks and cascading outcomes. In this context, traditional, siloed, reductionist approaches to understanding and dealing with extreme events are unlikely to be adequate. Systems approaches to mitigation, management and response for extreme events offer a more effective way forward. Well-managed urban systems can decrease risk and increase resilience in the face of such events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15S-27S
Number of pages13
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number2_Suppl
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • climate change
  • global health
  • governance
  • natural disasters
  • systems thinking
  • urban health
  • urbanization

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