Women’s Health and the World’s Cities  from Penn Press 2011 explores the relationships of urban environments and women’s health worldwide, a topic expected to grow in importance in the coming decades.

More than half of the world’s population which is estimated at 3.5 billion people live in urban centers.

By 2030, this number is expected to increase to almost 5 billion people. Most of this growth will take place in emerging countries where cities face tremendous challenges in providing opportunities and a decent living environment for women. The effect of urbanization on women’s health is one of the century’s most pressing global health issues.

Growing urbanization affects women and men in fundamentally different ways, but the relationship between gender and city environments has been ignored or misunderstood. Women and men play different roles, frequent different public areas, and face different health risks.

Women’s Health and the World’s Cities, edited by Afaf Ibrahim Meleis, Eugenie L. Birch, and Susan M. Wachter, illuminates the intersection of gender, health, and urban environments. This collection of essays examines the impact of urban living on the physical and psychological states of women and girls in urban environments around the world. Urban planners, scholars, medical practitioners, and activists present original research and compelling ideas.

They consider the specific needs of sub-populations of urban women and evaluate strategies for designing spaces, services, and infrastructure in ways that promote women’s health.

Women’s Health and the World’s Cities provides urban planners and public healthcare providers with on-the-ground examples of projects and policies that have changed women’s lives for the better.