2016 | World Health Organization

Global Report on Urban Health

Reporting, Dataviz, Editorial Design, and Interactive

Deconstructing the complex challenges of health and health inequity in cities everywhere in a forward-looking print and interactive report for the World Health Organization and UN Habitat.


The researchers at the World Health Organization Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan, reached out to Accurat at the end of 2015 with a request to collaborate on the development of a comprehensive reporting strategy to follow up on the then five-year old joint WHO-UN Habitat global report on urban health, Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Health Inequities in Urban Settings. The goal of the collaboration was to set up a joint task force that would leverage Accurat’s expertise in dealing with data-heavy scientific reporting to devise multiple print and interactive communication products to engage with public officials and stakeholders worldwide on the progress of urban health studies and research.

During a six-month collaboration with the World Health Organization’s research team in Kobe, Accurat imagined, designed, and produced numerous reporting materials in more than ten different languages, centered around two main products: a 240-page full-color book, printed and distributed worldwide, and an accessible website and data explorer, optimized for screens of any size and retro-compatible with legacy browser technology.


To display the key analyses in the report, Accurat imagined and designed a set of highly customized visualizations that drew inspiration from architectural drawings and urban planning diagrams to create distinctive visuals that are rich in detail and content, as well as visually bold and effective in communicating the report’s findings. Scholars and field workers recognized how the unusual compositions and the richness of Accurat’s data visualizations contributed to create unexpected engagement among public officials responsible for policy decisions on urban health matters worldwide. The report provides awareness about the issues, as well as a clear path to pragmatic solutions. Another distinctive feature in the report is the thematic and geographical index that cleverly uses the page margins to provide a quick overview of the topics covered in the spread. The same logic was replicated in the Digital Executive Summary, where the tags and keywords on the margins of the webpage are connected by dynamic colored lines to passages in the text, providing an innovative and effective web reading experience.
Full-color double-spread visualizations and photographs break the rhythm to create a pleasant reading experience.
DETAIL - proportion of urban households with dirt floors by wealth quintile for selected countries
Accurat’s team developed a visual language for the printed report that harmonically combined four-color and duotone pages, creating the effect of a full-color publication while drastically reducing production costs. To achieve this, the maps and visualizations in the report were designed balancing the use of dual tone patterns, where black ink is paired with a different color in each of the book chapters
DETAIL - trends in service coverage, by region across two time periods
DETAIL - Maps of areas that are within one or more alternative transport networks in Bilbao, Spain, 2015
DETAIL - Population density and transport energy use


The design process that led to the creation of the many reporting materials included in the Global Report was made possible by the diverse skills of Accurat’s team: working side-by-side with the WHO’s research team, our analysts, designers, and engineers imagined and deployed a comprehensive project workflow that covered all aspects of report production, from data preparation and analysis to the design and coding of static and interactive data visualization, including book layout and design and website development. Accurat also managed all aspects of production related to printing and web deployment, delivering an end-to-end service in a wide range of products.


The Global Report, presented officially in Geneva in March 2016, was recognized as an important contribution to the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that took place in Quito in October 2016. With its clear language and pragmatic approach, the report gives countries and cities practical tools to reduce health inequities as they strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and identifies and effectively presents innovative ways to achieve universal health coverage.
Federica Bardelli
Marco Bernardi
Paolo Corti
Luca Falasco
Stefania Guerra
Pietro Guinea
Giorgia Lupi
Giovanni Marchi
Alex Piacentini
Simone Quadri
Tommaso Renzini
Gabriele Rossi
Marco Vettorello
Tommaso Zennaro
Editorial Design
Dataviz, Experience, WebApp, and Mobile App Design
Interactive, Dataviz, Storytelling, and Experience


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