Call for Papers

Special Issue on Journal of Urban Health

Researchers are invited to submit papers to Journal of Urban Health for a special issue on the topic of “Urban Environments and Health Outcomes”, broadly defined. The issue is planned to be published in 2021 and will be guest-edited by Junfeng Jiao (The University of Texas at Austin, USA) and Lan Wang (Tongji University, China). Journal of Urban Health is a SCI indexed premier journal in the urban health field published by the Springer. It provides authoritative source of rigorous analyses to advance the health and well-being of people in cities.

Deadline for Abstracts: February 15, 2020
Notification of Abstract Selection: March 15, 2020
Deadline for Full Paper Submissions: September 1, 2020


Cities are at the forefront of many pressing public health issues. More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the urban population is expected to double by 2050. While urbanization and the growth of cities are expected to bring prosperity and higher quality of life for some; urban environments in many areas pose significant threats and risks to health and wellbeing for the disadvantaged. Densely populated urban environments may result in countervailing effects for the individual such as increased risk of stress and exposure to neighborhood hazards, such as traffic, litter, and noise. Capturing these health risks in urban environments has become increasingly important as more people are expected to live in cities.

Numerous studies show that physical environments (e.g. neighborhood density, building height, street network structure) have direct impacts on residents’ health and wellbeing. Many studies also demonstrate that social environments, such as neighborhood poverty, safety, and social networks, also affect the health and wellbeing of residents. Physical and social environmental factors alone do not capture the full extent of neighborhood environments. Perceived neighborhood environments would also affect residents’ health and wellbeing. Due to data and technology limitations, it is very difficult to disentangle the impacts of physical, social, and perceived neighborhood environment on residents’ health and well-being. Further most of these measurements are rely on survey data, which are usually inconsistent, costly, and difficult to scale up.

With the fast development of technologies (e.g. big data, smart sensors), researchers are equipped with more and more tools to quantify both urban environments (e.g. physical, social, and perceived) and health outcomes (e.g. mental, physical, and overall wellbeing). We are at the crossroad where we can better investigate the relationship between the urban environments and different health outcomes. This special issue intends to bring together theoretical and empirical studies on urban environments and health outcomes across the world. We aim to present the most recent findings about the nexus between urban environments and health outcomes.

We invite papers that address a range of topics related to urban environments and health outcomes. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the associations between urban environments and specific health outcomes. We are also interested in papers that use emerging technologies to measure urban environments or health outcomes. We are striving to contribute to the scholarly and practical knowledge relevant to both urban planning and public health practices. Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Urban Environments and Mental Disorders/Diseases such as Autism, Alzheimer, Parkinson etc. 
  • Urban Environments and Mental Health such as Depression
  • Urban Environments, Physical Activities, Obesity, Diabetes, Strokes 
  • Urban Environments, Drug/Alcohol Abuse and HIV
  • Urban Pollutions and Chronic respiratory diseases, such as Asthma, COPD, Lung Cancer etc. 
  • Big data, emerging technology and new methods to measure urban environments and health outcomes.

Submission Instructions:

Interested authors need to submit an extended abstract of no more than 250 words by February 15, 2020, through the International Association of China Planning (IACP) conference abstract submission website (  You will need to register as an author with EasyChair to make a submission.

Authors of selected abstracts are encouraged to present their preliminary drafts at a special session at the IACP 2020 conference, held on June 20-21, 2020, in Shenzhen, China, to receive comments from both guest editors and the Editor. Authors of selected abstracts will then need to submit their full manuscripts through the journal website by September 1, 2020 (

Full paper will the specific requirement of the Journal of Urban Health. Each paper should be no more than 3,500 words in the narrative, with up to four Tables/Figures and an unstructured abstract of up to 250 words . Footnotes and reference should follow JAMA style. These papers will undergo the standard Journal of Urban Health peer-review process. Papers submitted but not accepted in time for this special issue may be considered for publication in a later issue.

Questions about paper topics can be directed to Junfeng Jiao

( or Lan Wang (