Building together
a web-based planning platform
for personalized care models

Our mission is to streamline personalized care development to reach sustainable health systems

Welcome to build this platform together!

I. Background and purpose

UrbanCare initiated with an academic thesis that proposes the systematic development of sustainable streets with a triple bottom line: Mobility, Climate, and Liveability. Its guiding princip les for street planning and design, ensure a pedestrian first approach, especially for the slower groups such as children, the elderly, and people with one or many types of disabilities. 

The ultimate purpose of the thesis is to develop a web-based platform that empowers citizens and decision-makers to develop streets that effectively improve people and planetary health.

by Alvaro Valera Sosa

The thesis starts with a thorough review to neighbourhood streets in Berlin with the purpose of describing the most evident pedestrian obstacles for slow groups.

Berlin as most European cities, is designed for people able to walk 1 km in 10 minutes, or bike 20-30 km/h. However, 65% of the population are slower groups – such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities – who can’t catch-up and are at risk of motor traffic, climate conditions, and social isolation.
Click & watch – Street issues in Berlin

The second part of the thesis conceptualizes three modules for sustainable planning and design which in comprehensive manner target the street environment issues previously assessed.

The active travel module offers step-by-step guidance to generate a continuous and well-connected pedestrian network (pedestrian loop) fit for virological distance which (i) meets the requirements of slow groups, (ii) enhances pedestrian and biking quality experience and increases (iii) the number of active trips and (iv) public transportation feed levels.

The module helps planners locate and develop safe, comfortable, convenient, and pleasant (a) pedestrianized street crossings; (b) pedestrian path pavement; (c) free seating every 75 m (at least), and (d) age-friendly stops. 

The city climate module ensures street elements of the pedestrian loop are designed to be effective in mitigating urban heat hazards to people and in increasing biodiversity levels.  Three main aspects are carefully studied: (a) water retention, detention, and perviousness of street elements; (b) shading capacity of buildings, trees and other canopies and; (c) the streetscape biotope area factor.

The liveability module provides urban planners with validated surveys to assess the real needs and requirements of residents, especially of the slower groups. To designers with practical streetscape strategies in tune with the diversity of users and multigenerational differences communities may have.  The module includes a searchable repository with best practice solutions and templates to easily customize: (a) green, blue (water), and grey (pavement) street components; (b) program, functions and services and; (c) equipment, furniture, and signage.

The third body of the thesis aims at developing a web-based platform to create an UrbanCare project – a neighborhood with pedestrian loops mainly for slow groups. A series of workshops with specialists are suggested as the main research method to help build the platform.

UrbanCare Phase 2_ 
The main goal is to define what kind of data and information is useful for planning and designing healthy streets; mainly from fields of health and physical environment sciences. Furthermore, describe relations between physical environment interventions and health-related outcomes of urban residents.

• Data modelling
o Data input & data output – WS1
o Users & requirements – WS2
• Data Design
o Database logical design – WS3
o Database physical design – WS4

UrbanCare Phase 3_ Web-based platform
The main goal is to create interfaces for different stakeholders (residents, planners, designers, and authorities) that make data available and assists evaluation or development processes in easy and intuitive manner.

• Application design
o Workflow diagrams – WS5
o Wireframe – WS6
• Implementation
o Frontend & backend – WS7
o Test & deploy – WS8

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Workshops 1-4

database is a shared collection of related data used to support the activities of a particular organization. A database can be viewed as a repository of data that is defined once and then accessed by various users.

This phase called the “Healthy Street Maker”,  will define what kind of data, information, and processes are critical to plan, design and build healthy streets. Furthermore, describe relations between street interventions and health-related outcomes of urban residents.

Data modelling

On October 28, 2020 the first workshop took place. The “Healthy Street Maker”  WS, included 3 key lectures and moderated group activities. 

Lectures (click to view): 
• Groningen: Healthy streets make healthy cities. Cor Wagenaar
• Urban heat effects on health. Christine Hoffmann
• Gothenburg: Pop-up street infrastructure facing the pandemic. Göran Lindahl
• Virological distance and social distance impacts. Benedikt Lenzer

This step, sometimes considered to be a high-level and abstract design phase, is also referred to as data conceptual design. The aim of this phase is to describe:

• The data contained in the database 
• Relationships between data items
• Possible constraints on data 

Scheduled for December 2020

The second workshop follows the second step in data modelling: defining user requirements. 

Scheduled for Spring 2021

Database logical design, defines a database in a data model of a specific DBMS.

Scheduled for Spring 2021

Database physical design, defines the internal database storage structure, file organization or indexing techniques.

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A way of gathering evidence

Streetscape Evaluation, studies physical environment factors that hinder slow groups (children, the elderly, and people with disabilities) from having a high quality pedestrian experience.  
A way of gathering evidence is programming pedestrian journeys for stakeholders to gather and process data .

The process counts with five major steps:
1. setting the journey;
2. showing on a map points of predictable conflict with traffic along the journey (e.g. street crossings);
3. highlight physical risks or obstacles at the points of conflict;
4. rating the obstacle using a survey sheet with likert scales;
5. estimating the UrbanCare overall score.

Workshops 5-8

The UrbanCare web-based platform is basically a database management system (DBMS): a collection of programs that enables users to create and maintain databases and control all access to them. 

“a platform for innovation, consolidation and cost efficiencies”

The main goal in this last phase is to create interfaces for different stakeholders (residents, planners, designers, and authorities) to retrieve and store data and assist evaluation or development processes in efficient, easy and intuitive manner.

Application design

Scheduled for Summer 2021

Scheduled for Summer 2021

Scheduled for Fall 2021

Scheduled for Fall 2021

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Stakeholder intelligence

UrbanCare proposes a stakeholder platform service for health researchers and city planners to (i) discover city-disease patterns, (ii) aim at urban health issues when testing urban design assumptions, and (iii) have a better urban health insight when searching through health and urban data.

An open version of the platform would help citizens, local GOV, and other stakeholders understand the health condition of their neighbourhoods, what is to be repaired, and how.

MicroCare collaboratively developed by members of: