Efforts To Manage Emerging Infectious Diseases Should Encourage More Inclusive Urban Planning

The Conversation: Emerging infectious diseases in India: the scourge that could boost urban development
Olivier Telle, research scientist at CSH, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

“…A range of factors play a role [in the rise of infectious diseases], in particular increasing urbanization and human mobility. … At present, the question of the management of infectious diseases is relatively absent in health/urban studies, all the more so when they are approached from a municipal perspective. … To control these diseases in a more sustainable manner, the health of the inhabitants has to become a key factor of urban development. This involves reforming the management of diseases, and hence of urban centers, developing more equitable urban infrastructures, and most of all, developing inclusive cities. In short, investments are required. … It is essential to ensure that these programs do not remain concentrated in the most privileged areas, as they will have only a limited impact. These epidemics are a scourge, but also an opportunity: in a context where these infectious diseases do not recognize administrative frontiers, much less social ones, they may finally have a positive impact on urban development and encourage the development of more inclusive cities” (4/17).