Research Topic

Environmental Health in Informal Settlements: Current Progress, Challenges and Perspectives

About this Research Topic

In many low and middle income countries across the world, rapid but partly unregulated urbanization, coupled with a fast population growth, are outpacing the capacity of cities to provide adequate, affordable and healthy housing. Currently, according to the United Nations, there is an estimated over one billion people are informal settlements dwellers, most of them are in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Populations in informal settlements are exposing to common health risks due to inadequate infrastructure and services including safe drinking water, waste collection, sanitation and healthcare access. They may also be disproportionately exposed to other environmental and occupational hazards due to their socioeconomic circumstances, for example, indoor and outdoor air pollution, heavy traffic, road accidents, pesticides, soil pollution, heat, flooding, amongst others. To sufficiently characterize the complex environmental health challenges in these populations, we will need novel technological and analytical approaches to capture various types of exposures and analyze their relationships with health outcomes, which is promising as data are now available increasingly in depth and breadth.

This Research Topic aims to compile a collection of studies investigating broadly the environmental health in informal settlements across the globe. While we are mainly seeking quantitative research, high-quality, insightful qualitative research is also welcomed to submit. Potential sub-themes that we would welcome are as follow:
• Epidemiological studies of environmental exposures and health outcomes on all age groups;
• Environmental exposure assessments in and around the informal settlements;
• Studies on slum improvement or other policy interventions and their impacts on environment and/or quality of life;
• Novel methods or proof-of-concept studies in conducting exposure assessment and health data collection;
• Novel statistical methods and analytical tools to study the complex interactions of different environmental stressors on health;
• Case studies, Review and Discussion of environmental health and/or urban health policy at international/national/municipal level aiming to improve health in informal settlements;
• Studies investigating how residents perceive and manage the environment and their own health;
• Studies investigating specifically the interactions between environmental exposures and psychological stress on livelihoods and health status;
• Resilience towards constant environmental risks, climate change and diseases outbreak.


Keywords: Slum Health, Informal settlement, Environmental exposures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In many low and middle income countries across the world, rapid but partly unregulated urbanization, coupled with a fast population growth, are outpacing the capacity of cities to provide adequate, affordable and healthy housing. Currently, according to the United Nations, there is an estimated over one billion people are informal settlements dwellers, most of them are in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Populations in informal settlements are exposing to common health risks due to inadequate infrastructure and services including safe drinking water, waste collection, sanitation and healthcare access. They may also be disproportionately exposed to other environmental and occupational hazards due to their socioeconomic circumstances, for example, indoor and outdoor air pollution, heavy traffic, road accidents, pesticides, soil pollution, heat, flooding, amongst others. To sufficiently characterize the complex environmental health challenges in these populations, we will need novel technological and analytical approaches to capture various types of exposures and analyze their relationships with health outcomes, which is promising as data are now available increasingly in depth and breadth.

This Research Topic aims to compile a collection of studies investigating broadly the environmental health in informal settlements across the globe. While we are mainly seeking quantitative research, high-quality, insightful qualitative research is also welcomed to submit. Potential sub-themes that we would welcome are as follow:
• Epidemiological studies of environmental exposures and health outcomes on all age groups;
• Environmental exposure assessments in and around the informal settlements;
• Studies on slum improvement or other policy interventions and their impacts on environment and/or quality of life;
• Novel methods or proof-of-concept studies in conducting exposure assessment and health data collection;
• Novel statistical methods and analytical tools to study the complex interactions of different environmental stressors on health;
• Case studies, Review and Discussion of environmental health and/or urban health policy at international/national/municipal level aiming to improve health in informal settlements;
• Studies investigating how residents perceive and manage the environment and their own health;
• Studies investigating specifically the interactions between environmental exposures and psychological stress on livelihoods and health status;
• Resilience towards constant environmental risks, climate change and diseases outbreak.


Keywords: Slum Health, Informal settlement, Environmental exposures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Abstract
01 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Abstract
01 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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