While aggregate global health status has improved substantially in recent decades, these gains have not been distributed evenly and there is rising international concern about global epidemics of non-communicable diseases, mental health problems and emerging infectious diseases. Urban environments are important determinants of human health.
Cities are now the dominant human habitat and for the foreseeable future most population growth will be in urban areas. During the next 20-30 years, the UN estimates 2-3 billion more people will need to be housed in cities – an additional 1 million every week. In future, protecting and promoting health will increasingly depend on decisions made within and about urban systems. While urbanization has contributed to overall declines in poverty, emerging challenges put the health and well-being of people in cities at risk. Therefore, a better understanding of the linkages, dynamics and complexities of urban environments is needed.
IAP has joined the International Science Council and the International Society for Urban Health in an Urban Health & Wellbeing programme that proposes a new conceptual framework for considering the multi-factorial nature of both the determinants and the manifestations of health and well-being in urban populations.
Jo Boufford (president of the New York Academy of Medicine) acts as IAP’s Urban Health focal point.
People and Institutions
The G20 Health Ministers met in Mar del Plata, Argentina on October 4th, 2018 to reaffirm their commitment to building consensus for sustainable development considering health as one of the keys to achieving these goals worldwide.