Health plays a key role in social dynamics and shifting spatial patterns. Aside from diagnostic and therapeutic characteristics, health-related issues present crucial economic challenges (significant influence of the healthcare sector in GDP, especially in rich countries) and have major social and political consequences (monitoring and tracking diseases, choices about health facilities location, taking into account social determinants of health inequalities, etc.). Health-related indicators and their spatial distribution (health status and their determinants, organization of healthcare provision) show on one hand how societies are spatially organized, and, on the other hand, how they constitute a driving-force for spatial transformation.
This area of research focuses on the relationships between the society, its territory and its health characteristics. This main objective is divided into three complementary and interdependent themes : analysing the links between the environment and health, understanding the links between territorial and healthcare dynamics and interaction between research and action in the areas of urban planning and public health.
It seeks to gain a better understanding of relationships between spaces and societies through the diversity of healthcare situations encountered and to analyze the mechanisms and the determinants of health inequalities.