The cities of our urban world differ substantially from those of 100 years ago. At that time, cities were repeatedly struck by infectious diseases; sanitation and clean water were only beginning to be addressed by large public infrastructure projects; and a majority of the population lived in substandard, unsafe housing. For too many people in the developing world, this reality continues. In more developed countries, while a precarious effort keeps issues under control, present threats include a lapsing public health system, new and reinvigorated infectious agents, natural and human-induced catastrophes, and chronic diseases.
Lopez R. Cities and the Health of the Public. JAMA. 2007;297(10):1131–1134. doi:10.1001/jama.297.10.1132-a
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