A new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) offers guidance and tools for urban leaders to tackle some of the leading causes of death in cities.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes - kill 41 million people worldwide every year, and road traffic crashes kill 1.35 million.
The report, titled ‘The Power of Cities: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases and Road Traffic Injuries’ is geared towards mayors, local government officials and city policy planners.
The report highlights key areas where city leaders can tackle the drivers of NCDs, including tobacco use, air pollution, poor diets and lack of exercise, and improve road safety.
From anti-tobacco actions in Beijing and Bogor, to road safety initiatives in Accra and Bangkok, a bike sharing scheme in Fortaleza, and actions to create walkable streets for seniors that have reduced elderly pedestrian deaths by 16% in New York City, the report aims to share knowledge between urban policy planners.
Of the 19 case studies cited, 15 are from developing countries, where 85% of premature adult deaths through NCDs take place, and over 90% of road traffic fatalities are recorded.
Over 90% of future urban population growth will be in low or middle-income countries, and seven of the world’s 10 largest cities are in developing countries.
Some 193 countries have committed to reducing premature deaths from NCDs by a third by 2030, and halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020, through the Sustainable Development Goals.