Health beyond the headlines


Exploring the power of place in population health

By Dana March

Published February 20, 2014

Places, whether communitiescitiescounties, countries, or virtual spaces in which people interact, are both complex and intertwined. The ways in which places impact population health are equally complex, reaching far beyond the ZIP code as a determinant of health. We live in a world in which technology, from communication to travel, has given rise to an interconnectedness that effectively compresses both space and time. As a reservoir of health and disease, place has become at once more granular and expansive—incorporating the minute differences of where you call home to the broad global networks facilitated by modern communication.

In the upcoming months, the2x2project will explore these issues in a new series, PopPlaces. We will address population health issues in distinct places—India, Haiti, West Virginia, Loma Linda, Boston—highlighting public health successes and failures, unique research, and the contours of policy. We will also delve into the population health implications of time and space compression in the information age through a multifaceted view of population flows via travel, migration, and social media.

We invite you to elevate the conversation.

Edited by Josh Brooks

Elevate the conversation

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and do not represent those of the Department of Epidemiology, the Mailman School of Public Health, or Columbia University.