SPACE Workshop

The SPACE Workshop will take place in Paris from December 7 to December 8 2023, stay tuned for more info! 

Preventing and controlling infectious diseases in the built environment of city regions:

France-Singapore cross-views

In an increasingly networked and mobile world, infectious diseases are increasingly globalised, undermining the efforts of the World Health Organization to enhance pathogen control efficiency. Such diseases spread through various media and impact populations unevenly across fragmented infrastructures and ecologies. While planetary urbanization has rendered all regions vulnerable, large urban areas remain the epicenters for epidemic outbreaks and transmissions as they serve as dense nodes of rapid economic and infrastructural development, urban inequalities, mobility and migration, and broader environmental changes.

 While a substantial body of research has explored the risk factors of specific infectious diseases in cities, limited knowledge exists on the interactions between different diseases with varying transmission dynamics. Furthermore, there is a research gap in understanding how urban residents, situated within diverse socio-cultural and built environments, perceive epidemics, prepare to respond, negotiate with public policies, and contribute through their lifestyles to the mitigation or the spread of diseases.

In tropical areas such as Singapore and French overseas territories (e.g., Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion), significant Dengue outbreaks are a persistent concern, with an alarming progression of this disease observed in the south of mainland France. The co-evolution of dengue fever with recurring airborne diseases, such as COVID-19, and the lack of knowledge regarding a large spectrum of risk factors (e.g. relating to social, green and built infrastructures) further complicates public health management.

In this light, a collaborative team of French and Singaporean researchers embarked on charting predictive models of dengue outbreaks and inform public policies based on the feedback of populations. This project, known as SPACE (Shaping Public Adaptive Capacity for Environmental Infectious Diseases) is supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation and focusses on Singapore as their case-study.  By placing social sciences and architecture at the core of its approach, the SPACE project seeks to fill the knowledge gap in epidemiological theory by investigating, through various scales and methods, the social and urban dynamics at play in epidemics.

This workshop will present the preliminary findings of SPACE researchers and engage in dialogue with researchers in France who are studying public health and infectious disease issues from various perspectives and disciplinary approaches. It will cover a range of topics, including spatial mapping and modeling of the habitats and spread of infectious diseases, public communication strategies within and outside of pandemics, public health interventions including an epidemiological evaluation on the efficacy of Wolbachia projects, and urban planning and waste management, in relation to dengue control, COVID-19, and other diseases. These discussions will offer an opportunity to develop a multidisciplinary approach to improve epidemiological models as well as spark further dialogues around data production and research protocols.

This event will take place over two days and will be conducted in English. It is organized under the auspices of the Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, which serves as the co-supervising institution for the two primary CNRS UMRs engaged in the SPACE project: Géographie-cités, the project leader unit, and PRODIG.

Esteemed guest speakers have been invited to share their knowledge and expertise throughout the event. We are excited to announce our distinguished speakers:

  1. Robert Boyer: He will present a keynote speech on “What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Capitalism?”
  2. Jean-Paul Gaudilliere: Jean-Paul will deliver a keynote speech on “Global Health and the New World Order: Knowledge, Practices, and Politics in International Public Health.”
  3. Stéphane Ghiotti: Stéphane’s presentation, titled “60 Years After, When Mosquitos are Back to Business on the Occitanic Region Coastline: Problems, Issues, and Challenges,” promises to be insightful.
  4. Judith Rainhorn: Judith will shed light on “The Historical Denial of Lead Exposure in France: From Lead Paint to Notre-Dame Fire.”
  5. Laëtitia Gauvin: Laëtitia’s presentation, “Covid-19 and Mobility: Insights from Digital Traces,” will provide valuable insights into the pandemic’s impact on mobility.
  6. Jean Debrie and Juliette Maulat: They will jointly present “Have Urban Mobility Policies been Modified by the Covid-19 Pandemic? The Case of the Paris Metropolitan Area.”

We look forward to these engaging and informative sessions during the event.


This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme.

CREATE is an international collaboratory housing research centres set up by top universities. At CREATE, researchers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds work closely together to perform cutting-edge research in strategic areas of interest, for translation into practical applications leading to positive economic and societal outcomes for Singapore. The interdisciplinary research centres at CREATE focus on four areas of interdisciplinary thematic areas of research, namely human systems, energy systems, environmental systems and urban systems. More information on the CREATE programme can be obtained from

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