PEAK Urban

The PEAK Urban programme brings together over 50 researchers with affiliations across five countries (from the University of Oxford, Peking University, University of Cape Town, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and EAFIT University in Colombia).

Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health, UK at the University of Oxford are investigating health in the context of urbanisation, and are harnessing data science to track how healthy cities are instrumental to sustainable development. Current work is exploring:

  1. The complex relationship between environmental factors and health outcomes using a machine learning framework. By employing deep learning methods to ‘learn’ about and study environmental exposures, research lead Dr Yajie Zhu aims to identify health-related risk factors, and determine the characteristics and history of the most susceptible individuals.
  2. How green space impacts health and inequality in Oxford, UK and Cali, Colombia. This research, led by Dr Andy Hong, aims to develop a scalable model to measure health disparities using crowdsourcing and remote sensing techniques that estimate the exposure of urban populations to green space (such as parks and woods). This will help better quantify how people identify and use green space, and highlight inequalities in health outcomes within urban populations.
  3. Environment and respiratory infection risk among children in sub-Saharan Africa. By using publicly available health survey information (Demographic and Health Surveys) and geospatial data on air pollution, temperature and humidity, as well as statistical modelling, lead researcher Dr Samuel Cai aims to address the growing burden of childhood respiratory infection across an increasingly urbanised continent and provide robust evidence for policy.