Complex Urban Systems: Compact Cities, Transport and Health

  • Mark StevensonEmail author
  • Brendan Gleeson


By 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will reside in a city; the twenty-first century is undoubtedly the urban age. With rapid urbanisation, there is a growing need for sustainable urbanisation. As a consequence, considerable focus is being placed on compact cities namely, cities of short distances in which there are higher residential and population densities, greater mixed land-use and an urban design amenable to walking and cycling. Importantly, research is pointing to enhanced health outcomes associated with compact cities as a consequence of energy efficiency and reduced emissions as residents are more likely to live closer to amenities and walk, cycle or use public transport. However, although urban density is an important dimension of urban form and structure, it acts in a complex way with other social and morphological features to shape cities, human behaviour and population health. To respond to the complexity of twenty-first century cities, robust decision tools and platforms will be necessary to assist policymakers and key city-stakeholders deliver sustainable future cities.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Hub, Melbourne School of Design and Melbourne School of EngineeringThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Melbourne Sustainable Society InstituteThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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