Welcome to the Institute for Urban Public Health (InUPH)

According to the German Federal Government's scientific advisory board Globale 2016, the "move of mankind" to the cities that can currently be observed will "become the most powerful process of social change in the 21st century. Therefore, cities must be transformed into sustainable, healthy and just places. The visions for sustainable development are not only aimed at economic success, but also at health, social integration, quality of life and the environment.


A prerequisite for the health of the population is a paradigm shift from disease control to health promotion by strengthening resources and potentials for a healthy life in cities, anchoring health promotion through cross-sectoral urban planning and development as well as promoting the health competence of the urban population.


We understand Urban Public Health as a conceptual and methodological extension of the research, practice and policy field of Public Health, especially by complementing the primacy of sustainability and environment-related health inequalities. Thus, Urban Public Health proactively aims at the health of populations, the prevention of diseases, the extension of life and the promotion of health, considering the specific characteristics of urban systems. Urban Public Health is a genuinely interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field of research and action.


Against this background, the already established Centre for Urban Epidemiology (CUE) was re-opened as a new Institute for Urban Public Health (InUPH) at the University Hospital Essen as a scientific institution in May 2020.


The guiding principle of InUPH is based on the normative guidelines of Agenda 21, the Ottawa Charter, the UN Sustainability Goals and UN Habitat and thus explicitly on the triad of ecology, social affairs and economy.


The Institute wants to focus on the positive, salutogenic factors of urban systems, i.e. on those factors that enable and support the development and maintenance of health: spatial, political, social and ecological characteristics of the city - each with regard to specific population groups in terms of age, gender, sociodemography, migration, work, illness.


Our research perspectives:


  • to systematically establish Urban Public Health as a transdisciplinary field of research and to further develop it,
  • to address real-life problems through evidence-based and methodologically validated contributions to solutions from science, politics and planning,
  • to negotiate urban public health as a political-planning problem with the inclusion of health.


The Institute of Urban Public Health will consist of three different integrative working groups: Urban Epidemiology, Urban Public Health Regional and Urban Public Health International. While Urban Epidemiology investigates the distribution of health and disease in populations or population groups as well as determinants of health in urban areas, the Urban Public Health Regional working group focuses on health-promoting neighbourhood development in dialogue with the Emscher municipalities and other actors important for the process. Urban Public Health International focuses on the analysis of perspectives and measures for health-promoting and ecologically sustainable urban development.