Cross-sector Interactions

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Urban infrastructure systems are interdependent. Actions in one sector may have impacts and consequences-both positive and negative-in other sectors. For example, changes in water, energy and food sectors interact with each other, reflected in the water-energy-food nexus. Similarly, the urban mobility and transportation sector, alongside urban food system considerations (e.g. issues of diet, nutrition, and access) represent multiple sectors that can affect human health outcomes around obesity. It is important to understand not just critical infrastructure interdependency (e.g. electricity system failure cascading to transit system failure) but also resource linkages, such as the water-energy-nutrient nexus across food, water, wastewater & energy systems.

Understanding the interactions between and among infrastructure sectors is a critical component of understanding how to maximize positive societal outcomes in urban areas encompassing environmental sustainability, as well as human health and wellbeing. Understanding cross-sector interaction can help promote cross-sector solutions, in contrast to single sector solutions, that maximize the beneficial impact of infrastructure solutions and interventions.

While cross-sector interactions are important for understanding possible synergies and co-benefits (where multiple desired societal outcomes are supported at once), they can also lead to tradeoffs wherein actions in one sector to promote a desired outcome may diminish positive outcomes or generate negative outcomes in another sector. The network’s cross-sector research efforts are focused on understanding these interactions across sectors, with a particular emphasis on understanding co-benefits and tradeoffs

OUR PRODUCTS

Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Transitions in the ASEAN Region: A Resource Perspective (UN Environment and Sustainable Healthy Cities collaboration)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The ASEAN nations are a hot spot for rapid urbanization over the next 30 years: Between 2015 and 2050, ASEAN cities are projected to add 205 million new urban residents … Read more

The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization (International Resource Panel report with Sustainable Healthy Cities contributing authors)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

Over the next 30 years, an additional 2.4 billion people are likely to be added to the global urban population, meaning a shift from 54 percent of the population living … Read more

Local Health Co-Benefits of Urban Climate Action

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

Reducing carbon emissions across multiple urban infrastructure sectors can yield significant local air pollution related health co-benefits. But cities will see and experience these co-benefits in different ways and to … Read more

Circular Economies and Low Carbon Urban Infrastructure Planning

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

What is the unique role that urban infrastructure planning can play in national carbon mitigation? In this podcast, Anu Ramaswami, professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, discusses how … Read more

All-city Carbon Emissions: Understanding City Types and Impact

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

It is common practice to consider the carbon emissions of single cities. But what happens when you analyze carbon emissions for all cities in a country using nationally aligned data? … Read more

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