While aggregrate global health status has improved substantially in recent decades, this improvement has not been evenly distributed 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 need to be housed in cities- more than 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 wellbeing of people in cities at risk. Therefore, a better understanding of the linkages, dynamics and complexities of urban environments is needed.
24 – 27 May 2015
The new ICSU interdisciplinary programme, co-sponsored by lAMP and UNU, on Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment: a Systems Analysis Approach has taken up that challenge and launched a decade-long effort whose vision is “…to generate policy-relevant knowledge that will improve health status, reduce health inequalities and enhance the wellbeing of populations living in urban environments-which are undergoing continual change”.
The 12th International Conference on Urban Health was held on May 24-27,2015 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and it attracted over 700 participants from over 60 countries.
The conference theme was “Urban Health for a Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Development Agenda” and it brought together interdisciplinary academic experts, program leaders, and policy makers from multiple sectors through 7 Plenaries and 31 breakout sessions, including a special track on reproductive health and family planning hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The “Dhaka Statement on Urban Health in Sustainable Development” was finalized at the conference, ratified by participants and intended for sharing as an evidence-based advocacy tool to prioritize a focus on urban health and on the concerns of urban populations in the SDG negotiations and other stainable development initiatives at the United Nations.
Visit the conference website where you can find photographs and select presentations: www.icuh2015.org
8 – 10 December 2014