People-oriented urbanization – Planning and public health working together to generate healthy urban environments

People-oriented urbanization – Planning and public health working together to generate healthy urban environments
22 October 2020; 2.30pm-4pm (CEST), 7:30 - 9:00 AM (COT), 8:30 - 10:00 PM (CST)
Virtual Webinar Link:

The most effective indicator for a city’s sustainable development is the health and wellbeing of its citizens. Being citizens, local leaders, researchers, funders or practitioners, we can all contribute to create urban environments that enable vibrant community life, preserve natural urban ecosystems, foster economic development, and protect the most vulnerable, ultimately improving health and, in particular, promote health equity. While each city is unique, the resilience of cities to health challenges depends not only on a well-prepared healthcare system but also on the way cities are planned, managed and equipped to address urbanization challenges faced by citizens in the 21st century. The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown us many facets of the importance for cities to respond and recover from such crisis as well as the opportunities to build back better, ensuring that people are at the centre of the urban transformation.

The main goal of this webinar is to highlight and discuss the way the health sector can contribute in taking decisions and influencing interventions to catalyse action towards healthy and sustainable cities. Focus will be given on “how-to” bring the planning and the health sectors to work together, “bridging the gap from both sides” and strengths capacities to (1) foster and sustain intersectoral work, from planning, design to implementation of policies; (2) localize action and engage citizens, communities; (3) track and monitor success; and (4) maximize health, environmental and climate gains, through leadership and guidance. The session will also explore solutions, networks and opportunities already in place to scale up action globally and ensure all urban environments are reached.

The keynote presentations will set the scene for the discussion, providing an overview of the global challenge to deliver health through the transformation of urban environments and the contribution of the health sector to that challenge. The initial presentations will also be an opportunity to share some of WHO and UN-Habitat response for supporting cities and countries on urban health-related issues.

The panel discussion will convene a diverse group of experts and practitioners involved in city action to share their experiences with addressing urban health and urban development. Key messages and identified gaps and opportunities arising from the discussion will inform the global agenda on how to conceive healthy and liveable urban environments by integrating health into urban planning and design.

The event will also promote the most recent outcome of the longstanding collaboration between WHO and UN-Habitat, the publication Integrating health in urban and territorial planning: a sourcebook for urban leaders, health and planning professionals, as a key contribution towards people-centered and health-oriented urban development.

Names and Titles of Speakers

Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary of International Development, Norway;
Nathalie Roebbel, Coordinator Public Health and Environment, WHO Geneva;
Eduardo Moreno, Head of Knowledge and Innovation, UN-Habitat Nairobi;
Jose Siri, Senior Science Lead for Cities, Urbanization and Health for the Wellcome Trust's Our Planet Our Health Programme;
Jo Ivey Bouford, International Society of Urban Health - ISUH;
Carlos Cadena Gaitan, Secretary of Mobility, Medellin, Colombia;
Jens Aerts, International Society of City and Regional Planners - ISOCARP;Virinder Sharma, Asian Development Bank - ADB

Event City and Country
Geneva, Switzerland
Event Date