The Institute on Urban Health Research (IUHR) is devoted to research and its practical application to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Boston and other urban communities. The IUHR is focused on the social determinants of health in urban settings, the promotion of health equity and the elimination of health disparities. The Institute examines the efficacy of programs and interventions in order to inform public health and health care practices, policies, and training.
IUHR is an interdisciplinary, action-oriented University research center where scholars, scientists, program designers, community members and students collaborate on a wide-range of projects related to health and well being of the public particularly the residents of metropolitan areas. Collaboration with organizations within and the people of urban communities is central to our work. At IUHR, we view health as a fundamental right. We strive to improve the health of individuals and their communities through research and community-based service. We also translate research findings and knowledge into useful formats so they can influence policy and advocacy.
Well more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas. Demographers expect this share to grow by 2 percent each year for the next several years. According to the World Health Organization, just thirty years ago, four out of every ten people were living in cities, but by 2050 this number will grow to seven out of ten. Rapid urbanization is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in recent history. More and more, our world’s urban areas provide shelter, income, socialization and services. The conditions and health of urban areas affect everybody’s well-being and are intertwined with regional issues, economics, the social and built environments, and the availability of resources.
At IUHR, we acknowledge and examine the many dimensions of urban health through the design, implementation, assessment, research and evaluation of programs and policies that address health challenges, such as substance abuse and childhood obesity. We present our findings to a wide variety of audiences, in an effort to raise awareness and to apply knowledge about the ways health affects, and is affected by, social conditions such as poverty, racial segregation and educational opportunity. Students from across Northeastern University, who assist on research studies and in educational and recreational programs for families in the Boston area, are an integral part of the Institute’s work. We are located on a dynamic college campus, situated in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, where research informs an array of services we offer to local residents.
In 2002, we founded the Institute on Urban Health Research out of concern for the health-related challenges specific to urban places. Today, IUHR not only conducts research, but ensures that what we learn from our studies and our experience is applied to real-life challenges in communities. To this end, we disseminate knowledge widely to a variety of audiences and through a variety of venues. This includes academic conferences, research and policy symposia on Capitol Hill and in state Legislatures, scholarly presentations and publications including book chapters and policy papers, and newspapers and magazines.
IUHR enjoys a national reputation as a hub for innovative, useful research on some of the most urgent challenges facing our nation’s cities. We are known for breaking down silos to connect scholars and students across academic disciplines and for bringing thinkers, scientists, advocates and practitioners together to learn from each other, to collaborate on research and in solving real-life urban challenges. Closer to home, on Northeastern’s campus, we offer students exciting, valuable, hands-on research experience through our Graduate Fellowships.