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Journal: International journal of health geographics


There is a growing recognition of the health benefits of the natural environment. Whilst domestic gardens account for a significant proportion of greenspace in urban areas, few studies, and no population level studies, have investigated their potential health benefits. With gardens offering immediate interaction with nature on our doorsteps, we hypothesise that garden size will affect general health-with smaller domestic gardens associated with poorer health.


The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has simultaneous time and space dynamics. This behaviour results from a complex combination of factors, including social ones, which lead to significant differences in the evolution of the spatiotemporal pattern between and within countries. Usually, spatial smoothing techniques are used to map health outcomes, and rarely uncertainty of the spatial predictions are assessed. As an alternative, we propose to apply direct block sequential simulation to model the spatial distribution of the COVID-19 infection risk in mainland Portugal. Given the daily number of infection data provided by the Portuguese Directorate-General for Health, the daily updates of infection rates are calculated by municipality and used as experimental data in the geostatistical simulation. The model considers the uncertainty/error associated with the size of each municipality’s population. The calculation of daily updates of the infection risk maps results from the median model of one ensemble of 100 geostatistical realizations of daily updates of the infection risk. The ensemble of geostatistical realizations is also used to calculate the associated spatial uncertainty of the spatial prediction using the interquartile distance. The risk maps are updated daily and show the regions with greater risks of infection and the critical dynamics related to its development over time.


Human mobility is fundamental to understanding global issues in the health and social sciences such as disease spread and displacements from disasters and conflicts. Detailed mobility data across spatial and temporal scales are difficult to collect, however, with movements varying from short, repeated movements to work or school, to rare migratory movements across national borders. While typical sources of mobility data such as travel history surveys and GPS tracker data can inform different typologies of movement, almost no source of readily obtainable data can address all types of movement at once.


Household survey data are collected by governments, international organizations, and companies to prioritize policies and allocate billions of dollars. Surveys are typically selected from recent census data; however, census data are often outdated or inaccurate. This paper describes how gridded population data might instead be used as a sample frame, and introduces the R GridSample algorithm for selecting primary sampling units (PSU) for complex household surveys with gridded population data. With a gridded population dataset and geographic boundary of the study area, GridSample allows a two-step process to sample “seed” cells with probability proportionate to estimated population size, then “grows” PSUs until a minimum population is achieved in each PSU. The algorithm permits stratification and oversampling of urban or rural areas. The approximately uniform size and shape of grid cells allows for spatial oversampling, not possible in typical surveys, possibly improving small area estimates with survey results.

Concepts: Sample, Statistics, Sampling, Demography, Population, Rural area, Opinion poll, Official statistics


Micro-environmental factors (specific features within a streetscape), instead of macro-environmental factors (urban planning features), are more feasible to modify in existing neighborhoods and thus more practical to target for environmental interventions. Because it is often not possible to change the whole micro-environment at once, the current study aims to determine which micro-environmental factors should get the priority to target in physical environmental interventions increasing bicycle transport. Additionally, interaction effects among micro-environmental factors on the street’s appeal for bicycle transport will be determined.

Concepts: Interaction, The Current, Urban planning, Noise pollution, Bicycle, Grid plan


Chikungunya was, from the European perspective, considered to be a travel-related tropical mosquito-borne disease prior to the first European outbreak in Northern Italy in 2007. This was followed by cases of autochthonous transmission reported in South-eastern France in 2010. Both events occurred after the introduction, establishment and expansion of the Chikungunya-competent and highly invasive disease vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) in Europe. In order to assess whether these outbreaks are indicative of the beginning of a trend or one-off events, there is a need to further examine the factors driving the potential transmission of Chikungunya in Europe. The climatic suitability, both now and in the future, is an essential starting point for such an analysis.

Concepts: Mosquito, Yellow fever, Climate, Asia, Aedes, Culicidae, Italy, Asian tiger mosquito


Many studies suggest that exposure to natural environments (‘greenspace’) enhances human health and wellbeing. Benefits potentially arise via several mechanisms including stress reduction, opportunity and motivation for physical activity, and reduced air pollution exposure. However, the evidence is mixed and sometimes inconclusive. One explanation may be that “greenspace” is typically treated as a homogenous environment type. However, recent research has revealed that different types and qualities of natural environments may influence health and wellbeing to different extents.

Concepts: Human, Biodiversity, Biology, Environment, Ecology, Natural environment, Environmentalism


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease with a lifetime risk of developing as 1 in 700. Despite many recent discoveries about the genetics of ALS, the etiology of sporadic ALS remains largely unknown with gene-environment interaction suspected as a driver. Water quality and the toxin beta methyl-amino-alanine produced by cyanobacteria are suspected environmental triggers. Our objective was to develop an eco-epidemiological modeling approach to characterize the spatial relationships between areas of higher than expected ALS incidence and lake water quality risk factors derived from satellite remote sensing as a surrogate marker of exposure.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Neurodegenerative disorders, Lou Gehrig, Remote sensing


Designing healthy, liveable cities is a global priority. Current liveability indices are aggregated at the city-level, do not reflect spatial variation within cities, and are often not aligned to policy or health.


Aedes-borne diseases as dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever are an emerging problem worldwide, being transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Lack of up to date information about the distribution of Aedes species hampers surveillance and control. Global databases have been compiled but these did not capture data in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), and any models built using these datasets fail to identify highly suitable areas where one or both species may occur. The first objective of this study was therefore to update the existing Ae. aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) and Ae. albopictus (Skuse, 1895) compendia and the second objective was to generate species distribution models targeted to the EMR. A final objective was to engage the WHO points of contacts within the region to provide feedback and hence validate all model outputs.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Culicidae, Asian tiger mosquito