Mayors from around the world met for inaugural partnership for healthy cities summit
Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Vital Strategies co-hosted the inaugural partnership for healthy cities summit with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on March 15, 2023. The summit brought together mayors and other city leaders from the Partnership for Healthy Cities global network to discuss strategies to combat the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries.
Founded in 2017, the Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of more than 70 cities working together to prevent NCDs and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organisation and Vital Strategies, this initiative enables cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCDs and injuries in their communities. Through the Partnership for Healthy Cities, local leaders around the world have enacted policies that are improving the health and safety of millions of people.
"Noncommunicable diseases and injuries are leading causes of death around the world, but they are preventable, and the Partnership for Healthy Cities is tackling them with the kind of urgency we need more of," said Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, 108th Mayor of New York City, and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. "City leaders are the first line of defence in protecting public health, and our network's first-ever summit is an opportunity for even more partners to join the fight, adopt effective interventions, and accelerate our lifesaving work together."
As cities continue to grow, ensuring the health and wellbeing of residents in our world's urban centres is crucial. NCDs – including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases – and injuries are responsible for 80% of all deaths globally. With the majority of the world's population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against NCDs and injuries by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors. The Summit will highlight the best practices that are saving lives and creating healthier, more vibrant cities.
"I'm thrilled that London has been chosen to host the first Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit. Building a fairer, greener London for all is one of my top priorities as Mayor, and tackling air pollution is a huge part of that," said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. "Toxic air makes us sick from the cradle to the grave, leading to asthma and stunted lung growth in the young and dementia in the elderly. This is why I decided to expand my world-leading Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide, to reduce congestion, protect the health of Londoners and tackle the effects of climate change. Cities have the power to shape the health of their citizens and I look forward to learning from and sharing knowledge with other city leaders and coming together to address the key health challenges of the future."
"Human health can either flourish or perish in cities," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "Through the Partnership for Healthy Cities, WHO and partners are working with mayors to create programmes and policies that place health at the centre of urban design, such as safe streets that promote active mobility, local sources of fresh and healthy food, and smoke free spaces. These are vital for building cities that foster good health and well-being by fighting noncommunicable diseases like heart and respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes."