Epidemic Urbanism Initiative

More Information


The Epidemic Urbanism Initiative was formed to create dialogue around issues related to the relationship of architecture and space to epidemic diseases. Initially inspired by issues arising at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the EUI has now become a didactic hub where scholars, practitioners, and others interested in health equity and architecture may participate in webinars and roundtables, access learning materials, news about events, and other practitioners in architecture and healthcare-related fields around the world.

Epidemic Urbanism Initiative Community

The Epidemic Urbanism Initiative was founded by Dr. Mohammad Gharipour, Professor and Director, Architecture Program, UMD, and Dr. Caitlin DeClercq, now at Columbia University’s Center for Learning and Teaching.

The EUI community includes a board of experts, 1,800 scholars and professionals, and a growing team of Regional Liaisons from more than 75 countries. The EUI audience is comprised of practitioners working in health and architecture, instructors and students, and those seeking continuing education in the fields of public health, other aspects of health care, architecture, urban planning, environmental design, and related disciplines.

What does the Epidemic Urbanism Initiative do?

• Creates and convenes conversations on health equity and the built environment

• Records, posts, and maintains a digital archive of discussions related to the built environment and health

• Coordinates a design competition to generate plans and proposals by teams of practicing architects, architecture students, and healthcare practitioners that address EUI areas of interest surrounding health and architecture

• Published an edited volume of scholarly essays on global urban epidemics that is suitable for use as a teaching resource and classroom reading

• Fosters a community of practice, inclusive of architects and designers, scholars, public health professionals, and other interested associations, programs, groups, and individuals

Projects and Resources

• The Epidemic Urbanism Initiative website presents educational videos, syllabi, news, and updates on events with a health equity and design focus.

• The edited volume Epidemic Urbanism: Contagious Diseases in Global Cities (edited by Mohammad Gharipour and Caitlin DeClercq, Intellect, 2021). Each contributor presents a global city during a time between the medieval period and the twenty-first century, providing context, an architectural case study, and a concise conclusion. The material is accessible as a teaching resource, as a sourcebook for global architectural practice and history, and as a work of reflective analysis.

• The Epidemic Urbanism Initiative’s YouTube channel is home to discussions, design juries, webinars, interviews, roundtables, and panels on the issues that impact epidemics, health equity, design, and architecture.

•The Epidemic Urbanism Initiative’s 2023 Design Competition is partnering with the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), The American Institute of Architects Design & Health Research Consortium, and the National Center for Smart Growth