Scaling properties of urban health and urban infrastructure in Brazil and Latin America

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Roberto F. S. Andrade Headshot

NYU CUSP is pleased to host our annual Research Seminar Series, featuring leading voices in the growing field of urban informatics. The seminars will examine real-world challenges facing cities and urban environments around the world, with topics ranging from citizen and social sciences to smart infrastructure.

Today's topic:

The scaling analysis of urban indicators helps to understand important features and consequences of city growth, which impact infrastructural and socioeconomic aspects as well as health outcomes. Several arguments have been posed on the universal character of the drivers that lead to urbanization, which would be manifested by very close scaling behavior in different countries and regions inside them. However, recent studies have uncovered that scaling relationships among urban indicators are influenced by strong regional heterogeneities within regions of the world, specific countries and even regions within a large country like Brazil. We will discuss differences and similarities in scaling results for infrastructural and socio economic indicators, health outcomes using mortality data for a wide set of diseases, and urban landscape and street design metrics. Finally we comment how scaling analysis suggests that distinct political solutions might be necessary to improve life’s quality, even for two regions with similar average values of urban indicators.

About the speaker:

Roberto Andrade holds a bachelors degree in Physics from the Universidade Federal da Bahia (1975), a Master (M.Sc.) in Physics from the Universidade de São Paulo (1977) and a  Doctorate degree (Dr. rer. nat.) in Physics from the Universität Regensburg (1981). He was a post-doctoral fellow at Free University of Brussels, Belgium (1987) and Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, Germany (1994). He was also a visiting professor at several institutions including Oldenburg, Germany (1988, 1991, 1992), Coruña, Spain (2000), ETH-Zürich, Switzerland (2007-2017). After serving as a statistical physics professor at Federal University of Bahia (retired 2019), Andrade continues to develop academic research activities and supervises doctoral theses in this institution, within the PROPAP/UFBA program. He is a researcher at the Center for Data Integration and Knowledge for Health (CIDACS) of Gonçalo Moniz Institute – FIOCRUZ-BA (from 2017 through present) and served as the General Secretary of the Brazilian Society of Physics (2001-2003). 

Experienced in Statistical Physics and Complex Systems, with contributions on the following subjects: Aperiodic magnetic models; Hierarchical lattices; Nonlinear dynamical systems; Complex networks; Self-organized criticality; Analysis of complex systems in biology, economy, climate, and geophysics; Use of Big data to analyze health outcomes and disease spreading.