The Human Habitat: My, Our, and Everyone’s City

  • Bianca Hermansen
  • Bettina Werner
  • Hilde EvensmoEmail author
  • Michela Nota


In many ways, urbanization has changed the way humans have been living for millennia in just over a century. Since UN Habitat I in 1976, the number of people dwelling in cities has almost doubled and is now at 54.5%. Consequently, for the first time ever, cities were the priority of the 2016 UN Global Development Agenda at UN Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador. At their best, cities foster a human habitat in which people thrive socially, environmentally and financially. However, cities are also the main drivers of climate change, unsustainable lifestyles, adverse environmental exposures and deteriorating public health. As such, cities can be understood as both the cause and the solution to these global challenges. To prevent and counteract the negative consequences of urbanization, we need to assess and evaluate which factors are crucial to promote a livable relationship between people and place. To address the complexity of cities, we argue that an interdisciplinary approach to urban design is crucial to promote public health and quality of life in what we have termed the human habitat.


Human habitat Livability Urban design Health promoting design Socio-spatial data-collection 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bianca Hermansen
    • 1
  • Bettina Werner
    • 2
  • Hilde Evensmo
    • 2
    Email author
  • Michela Nota
    • 2
  1. 1.CITITEKCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.COurban Design CollectiveCopenhagenDenmark

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