Conference Themes

Theme One: Addressing socioeconomic and environmental determinants of urban health and health inequities

Understanding how the urban context shapes population health and where interventions are best focused to improve and sustain health and health equity requires attention to a range of social, economic and environmental determinants and their impacts.  Conference organizers are particularly interested in learning of successful (and failed) interventions that address these broader determinants which are key to sustaining health improvement in urban areas.

Theme Two: Urban health care and public health service provision across the life course

Dramatic changes in disease trends in the urban environment and their implications over the life course demand innovative prevention and treatment strategies. Current evidence on challenges associated with the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable disease, the impact of urban lifestyles, gender inequity, and changing demographics such as aging, need to be addressed in both  urban planning and the implementation of public and privately funded  direct services.

Theme Three: Measuring, mapping and monitoring urban health

Rapid unplanned urbanization can quickly overwhelm the provision of basic public services such as transport, water and sanitation, food security, health and social care and housing, the health consequences of which disproportionately impact the urban poor.  It is important that cities and organizations working in partnerships for governance of cities have the capability to identify and monitor the health status of their populations, especially  health disparities; rates of urban in and out-migration; the availability of  health, social and educational services and methods  to locate gaps in coverage; factors known to impact the health of urban citizens such as air quality, energy demands, and availability of adequate water and sanitation, is critical.  New methodologies and approaches are needed to measure, map and monitor urban health to ensure accountability and provide critical evidence to plan for the future.

Theme Four: Strengthening governance for urban health

In many countries, rapid urbanization and the rise of megacities has overwhelmed the capacity of local government to provide for urban citizens. Effective urban governance is needed to ensure access to basic health and social services, and to create and sustain a healthy urban environment. Urban policies that guide planning and decision making around health, and urban governance structures and processes that ensure service coverage and quality, emergency preparedness, and social protection, are critical.  New approaches to working with the private sector and information communications technologies offer promise, but regulatory issues and standard setting need to be addressed.