By 2030, two out of three people will live in an urban world, with most of the explosive growth occurring in developing countries.

Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing may be the busiest intersection in the world. (from “In Global Megacities, Life Is a Kaleidoscope of Stories,” National Geographic Magazine, March 2017, story and photographs by Martin Roemers.)


The Global Issues Forum: Health in Smart Urban Environments is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural collaboration driven by faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and National Taiwan University, held in alternation between Taipei and Champaign-Urbana, and focusing on a range of key challenges and opportunities arising from the dramatic increase in urban populations around the world. The forum brings together faculty in Engineering fields who focus on the development and deployment of technologies to reliable, responsive and sustainable urban infrastructures, faculty in natural resources and agricultural sciences who focus on environmental impacts and sustainability issues in expanding urban areas, and faculty in social sciences and humanities who focus on the human factors that affect and are affected by urban lifestyles.


Delegates gather at the first annual Global Issues Forum: Smart Cities/Healthy Cities
(Taipei, November 2014)

The Forum has identified six sub-themes within the broader rubric of “Health in Smart Urban Environments,” each of which engages faculty from various disciplines:

  • Air and Water Quality
  • Healthy Aging in Urban Environments
  • Built Environment and Health
  • Urban Agriculture and Food Security
  • Bio-Medical & Cancer Research
  • Mobility & Autonomous / Connected Vehicles