In honor of World Health Day, the World Health Organization launched a global campaign to raise awareness about the effects of urbanisation on the health and lifestyles of people world wide. The campaign “1000 cities, 1000 lives” encourages initiatives to make cities healthier places to live, and developed a social media website to gather local authorities, citizens and civil society.
The WHO-initiated European Healthy Cities movement is an important policy tool to engage local governments in health development. Thanks to this initiative over 1500 cities have started the process of political commitment, institutional change and capacity building.
In cooperation with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the WHO will publish a report on urban health inequalities around the world, including a series of practical examples and policy recommendations for evidence-based interventions.
Facts and figures
Today, more than half of the world’s population live in cities, and urbanisation will be one of the biggest global health challenges during the 21st century. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people around the globe will be city dwellers, rising to 7 out of 10 by 2050.
70% of the population in the WHO European Region lives in urban areas. More than 92% of city residents breath air that does not meet the WHO air quality guidelines. Everyday 100 children and young people are killed in road traffic injuries. Environmental noise is another common stressor in urban areas.
For Further Information
Related EPHA Articles
World Health Day 2009 - Better health system responses to disasters
OPEN DAYS 2008 European Week of Regions and Cities - ’Health Village’
Health inequalities highlighted in new report by French National Observatory on Poverty and Social Exclusion
EPHA welcomes first steps and calls for bold action on health inequalities