People all over the world are migrating to cities in search of jobs and cultural advantages, especially in Asia. This has resulted in the formation of huge megapolitan areas and surrounding peri-urban environs. In China, a 40 million urban area is planned.
The effects of cities on people are not well-understood. Cities require huge amounts of energy, resulting in large quantities of waste products, causing unsustainable environments. Cities are sources of air, water and soil pollution. Light and noise pollution are now known to adversely affect urban people. The role of urban heat islands and air pollution, PM2.5 and ozone, on human health is beginning to emerge. Lack of green space may have psychological effects for urban dwellers.
We began to explore the nature of the urban environment and pollution on human health and well-being at UEP2010 in Boston in June of 2010. This very successful conference identified many areas of urban life that warranted further investigation. UEP2013 aims to continue the exploration of the urban environment and how we can begin to create a healthy and liveable environment in cities.