Cities & Science
The good health of its citizens is one of the most effective markers of any city’s successful sustainable development. Healthy cities are economically vibrant, environmentally sustainable and resilient. Healthy cities are inclusive – places where planning and policy-making incorporates the views, voices and needs of all communities. Health is not only an indicator for monitoring progress, but a fundamental driver of sustainable development. Focusing on health can unlock progress on reducing inequalities in urban areas, and expanding access to services and opportunities.
Cities have the responsibility of ensuring health of urban residents – going well beyond the provision of health services and into ensuring health-promoting urban policies (green spaces, urban planning, controlling pollution and limiting risk of vulnerable populations). Without explicitly acknowledging health as the core business of urban governance and planning, the New Urban Agenda is unlikely to deliver on its vision of sustainable urban development for all.
Science has a role to play in how health is integrated into urban decision-making, together with a wide variety of urban stakeholders. The benefits, and conversely, the risks to health ultimately lie in sectors outside of the traditional purview of health practitioners. Many cities already take an integrated (cross-sectorial) approach to incorporating health and minimising the risk to health in its decision-making.
Trevor Hancock is one of the founders of the global movement for healthy cities and communities. Together with Len Duhl, he co-authored the original background paper on Healthy Cities for WHO Europe in 1986, and he has continued to work on these issues for the past 30 years and more. He is currently a professor and senior scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, Canada.
José Armando Ahued Ortega, Secretary of Health of Mexico City
Carlos Dora, World Health Organisation
MODERATOR: Franz Gatzweiler, Executive Director, ICSU-IAMP-UNU Programme on Urban Health and Wellbeing
The exhibition will take place at the National Assembly, 300 meters from Parque del Arbolito and the main conference venue, La Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamin Carrion.”