The shift to a new global development framework, as embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is timely because it parallels an unprecedented shift in the habitat in which most people around the world live their daily lives: the global urban transition. The urban environment exerts profound influences on health and well-being — from housing, transport, air quality and waste management; through access to green space and opportunities for social connection; to disaster risk reduction. Virtually any set of urban targets and indicators will link, via multiple chains of causality, to various health outcomes. Health and wellbeing in cities goes well beyond the biomedical model of health and encompassing ecological, social and economic dimensions of human development. The eco-social perspective also recognizes the city as a complex system, where changes in one area or process can have multiple consequences, intended or unintended, positive or negative, in close proximity or far away. Moreover, it helps to identify co-benefits; that is, the multiple benefits that may arise from single policy actions. In the context of cities, there is a particular need to explicitly frame the connections of human health with decisions made in other societal sectors, and to establish health and well-being as foundational goals. This project aims to promote this eco-social approach of health for urban policy considerations such as in the run-up to Habitat III – the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – which will be held in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, and for the subsequent New Urban Agenda. It also seeks to expand the academic discourse, build capacity and facilitate the creation of policy relevant research in this area starting with the a collaborative analysis of knowledge gaps leading to the creation of a research agenda on ‘making healthy places with particular focus on low- and middle-income countries’.