CHETRE team with visiting Fellow, Emilia Rönkkö, from Oulu University, Finland, and UNSW Master of Public Health Intern Natalie Windle, March 2023
Docent Emilia Rönkkö discussed her project, RECIPE (Resistant Cities: Urban Planning as Means for Pandemic Prevention), which explores the role of urban living environments and the potential of urban planning in anticipation and prevention of infectious disease and thus pandemic outbreaks. Her research is addressing the gap that infectious disease are largely been neglected in urban planning, even though global urbanisation continues, and many past and recent pandemics have originated and spread in cities. Along with climate change, new kinds of threats are formed by increasing floods, zoonoses and the thawing permafrost, which makes it increasingly probable that serious epidemics will become common in the future. The project engages citizens, SMEs, planners and health professionals, cross-sectional institutions, and decision makers to develop tools and methods for resistant urban planning and encourages cross-sectorial discussions and integrative policies between urban planning and health sectors.