The Baker Institute for Public Policy published the paper Brain-Healthy Cities: How Urban Planning Can Foster Healthy Brains and Minds” co-authored by EMEA President, Prof Rym Ayadi, EMEA Advisory Board member, Harris A. Eyre, MD Ph.D, Rajiv Ahuja, Director at Milken Institute, Upali Nanda, Global Sector Director of Innovation at HKS, and Jo-An Occhipinti, Head, Systems Modeling & Simulation, Brain and Mind Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health at University of Sydney.

The average human life span has increased dramatically over the past few decades due, in large part, to our modern public health and medical systems. However, as the population ages, the focus on extending life span must be complemented by efforts to improve health span — the period of life spent in good health.

The paper advocates for the development of urban environments designed to promote brain health, mental well-being and healthy longevity. By implementing supportive policies, improving infrastructure, fostering community initiatives, and utilizing innovative financing, we can design environments that optimize brain health and address the complex challenges of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. This, in turn, will extend and improve our brain health spans.

The paper is available at

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, also known as the Baker Institute, is an American think tank on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1993, it functions as a center for public policy research. Alongside the institute's focus on research, it provides programs for undergraduate and graduate students to engage with the world of policy and organizes events in which political, diplomatic, and community leaders speak on Rice's campus.