The deprived physical environments present in slums are well-known to have adverse health effects on their residents. However, little is known about the health effects of the social environments in slums. Moreover, neighbourhood quantitative spatial analyses of the mental health status of slum residents are still rare. The aim of this paper is to study self-rated mental health data in several slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, by accounting for neighbourhood social and physical associations using spatial statistics. We hypothesised that mental health would show a significant spatial pattern in different population groups, and that the spatial patterns would relate to spatially-correlated health-determining factors (HDF).
This article analyses the benefits and shortcomings of the recently developed decision support systems (DSS) FLUMAGIS, Elbe-DSS, CatchMODS, and MedAction. The analysis elaborates on the following aspects: (i) application area/decision problem, (ii) stakeholder interaction/users involved, (iii) structure of DSS/model structure, (iv) usage of the DSS, and finally (v) most important shortcomings. On the basis of this analysis, we formulate four criteria that we consider essential for the successful use of DSS in landscape and river basin management. The criteria relate to (i) system quality, (ii) user support and user training, (iii) perceived usefulness and (iv) user satisfaction. We can show that the availability of tools and technologies for DSS in landscape and river basin management is good to excellent. However, our investigations indicate that several problems have to be tackled. First of all, data availability and homogenisation, uncertainty analysis and uncertainty propagation and problems with model integration require further attention. Furthermore, the appropriate and methodological stakeholder interaction and the definition of what end-users really need and want have been documented as general shortcomings of all four examples of DSS. Thus, we propose an iterative development process that enables social learning of the different groups involved in the development process, because it is easier to design a DSS for a group of stakeholders who actively participate in an iterative process. We also identify two important lines of further development in DSS: the use of interactive visualization tools and the methodology of optimization to inform scenario elaboration and evaluate trade-offs among environmental measures and management alternatives.
Urban health is of global concern because the majority of the worlds population lives in urban areas. Although mental health problems (e.g. depression) in developing countries are highly prevalent, such issues are not yet adequately addressed in the rapidly urbanising megacities of these countries, where a growing number of residents live in slums. Little is known about the spectrum of mental well-being in urban slums and only poor knowledge exists on health promotive socio-physical environments in these areas. Using a geo-epidemiological approach, the present study identified factors that contribute to the mental well-being in the slums of Dhaka, which currently accommodates an estimated population of more than 14 million, including 3.4 million slum dwellers.
Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5 by 5 latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.
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