Corburn J, Cohen AK (2012) Why We Need Urban Health Equity Indicators: Integrating Science, Policy, and Community. PLoS Med 9(8): e1001285. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001285
- As the urban population of the planet increases and puts new stressors on infrastructure and institutions and exacerbates economic and social inequalities, public health and other disciplines must find new ways to address urban health equity.
- Urban indicator processes focused on health equity can promote new modes of healthy urban governance, where the formal functions of government combine with science and social movements to define a healthy community and direct policy action.
- An inter-related set of urban health equity indicators that capture the social determinants of health, including community assets, and track policy decisions, can help inform efforts to promote greater urban health equity.
- Adaptive management, a strategy used globally by scientists, policy makers, and civil society groups to manage complex ecological resources, is a potential model for developing and implementing urban health equity indicators.
- Urban health equity indicators are lacking and needed within cities of both the global north and south, but universal sets of indicators may be less useful than context-specific measures accountable to local needs.