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Global Health Seminar Series: Extended Urbanization and the Covid Pandemic: Rethinking the Parameters of Disease in the City with Prof. Roger Keil

14 April 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for a special seminar presented by the Dahdaleh Institute. We will be hosting Prof. Roger Keil as he present on a recently published paper examining Urbanization and Infectious disease. Roger will also reflect on what we might take from this analysis now, after a year of experiencing the pandemic.

The published paper argues that contemporary processes of extended urbanisation, which include suburbanisation, post-suburbanisation and peri-urbanisation, may result in increased vulnerability to infectious disease spread. In particular, the authors highlight three key factors influencing the spread of infectious disease that have been identified in the literature: demographic change, infrastructure and governance. It draws upon examples from various re-emerging infectious disease events and outbreaks around the world to reveal how extended urbanisation in the broadest sense has amplified the conditions necessary for the spread of infectious diseases.

Roger Keil is a Professor at the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Suburban Planet (Polity 2018), co-editor, with Judy Branfman of Public Los Angeles: A Private City's Activist Futures (UGAPress 2020), with Xuefei Ren, of The Globalizing Cities Reader (Routledge 2017) and with K. Murat Güney and Murat Üçoğlu of Massive Suburbanization (UTP 2019). Keil’s research areas are global suburbanization, cities and infectious disease, regional governance and urban political ecology. He is a co-investigator in a partnership grant on regional student mobility and currently works at the intersection of global urbanization and (emerging) infectious disease including research under the leadership of S.Harris Ali on community responses to Ebola Virus Disease in urban West Africa and the DRC. Past work with Ali resulted in the book Networked Disease (Wiley 2008) which the Globe & Mail listed as one of “ten books that offer lessons from past pandemics” at the outset of the COVID-19 lockdown. Keil is also conducting ongoing comparative research with colleagues in Berlin, Milan and Toronto on the relationship of the COVID-19 pandemic and cities and healthy cities.