1 June 2020
Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Los Andes, Colombia

PI: Dr Harvey Neo (LKYCIC, SUTD)
Team: Dr Jose Rafael Martinez Garcia (LKYCIC, SUTD)

In a post-COVID world, the making of a “healthy city” is likely to become a policy priority, this research aims to map out viable pathways towards healthy cities in Southeast Asia through, amongst other things, a consideration of urban health infrastructures and urban resilience.

The project evaluates forms of urban health infrastructures (including non-conventional health care systems) in the four overseas cities (+ Singapore). Specific issues to be investigated include mental wellness (in Singapore) and preventive healthcare/selfcare across scales. As part of this project, researchers at LKYCIC and SUTD envisage subprojects on as place-based, community-led preventive measures as well as on bottom-up preemptive approaches to better mental health among different populations, particularly, young adults.

The core of health emergencies in urban settings is the risk of the disease scaling up across the population, therefore fine-grained and timely containment of geographical spread is key to risk reduction. Moreover, the fine-grained application and tailoring of social prophylaxis to local conditions also has the benefit of containing economic and psychological damage. Hence, in tandem with granularity and timeliness, this project is based on an approach that sees at how innovative technologies and methodologies could help tailoring community-based which, we contend, are critical to containment if integrated into healthcare and existing spatial planning processes.

Research Project

COVID-19 in the Antipodes: Zooming in the Pandemic in Urban Southeast Asia and Latin America

This research draws on the experiences of Singapore, Jakarta, Santiago and Bogotá to measure and compare the impact of COVID-19 in urban areas virtually antipodal to one another. Expanding on the urban health indicators (UHI) framework, the research assesses the cities performance in various ways. These include their emergency preparedness; their ability to detect and break transmission chains and the effectiveness in communicating preventive measures to the public. The study will shed light on the different ways (and varying success) cities in Southeast Asia and Latin America have protected the vulnerable and preserve lives/livelihoods in an equitable manner. This is a joint research project led by Juan Carlos Muñoz (Director of the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development), Luis Fuentes Arce (Director of the Institute of Territorial and Urban Studies), both at the Pontificia Catholic University of Chile and Harvey Neo and Rafael Martinez Garcia from LKYCIC.

Commenced: 1 July 2020
Status: Ongoing
Collaborators: Centre for Sustainable Urban Development and Institute of Territorial and Urban Studies, Pontificia Catholic University of Chile. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Los Andes, Colombia.