Exploring health outcomes as a motivator for low-carbon city development: implications for infrastructure interventions in Asian cities
Sustainable urban infrastructure interventions can help achieve both public health and low-carbon goals in cities. This study explores the extent to which civil infrastructure (i.e., water, sanitation, energy, transport and building infrastructures) and environmental factors (e.g. air and water quality) associated with these infrastructures shape current urban health outcomes in cities in Asia using Delhi, India as a case study. Current mortality data for Delhi are used as context to estimate the extent to which urban health outcomes are shaped by infrastructure and infrastructure-related environmental factors, some of which could directly or indirectly reduce mortality through low-carbon interventions. Mortality data along with a preliminary survey of expert opinion indicate up to 19 percent of all recorded deaths in Delhi may be infrastructure-related. More detailed epidemiology studies and infrastructure models are needed to confirm these initial findings. The findings suggest public health outcomes may be a large factor in motivating low-carbon development in Asian cities.