Our dual approach

UrbanBetter is a learning collaborative and advocacy platform.

We foster shared learning, knowledge exchange and public engagement, connecting and mobilising individuals, communities and organisations for healthy sustainable urban environments.

UrbanBetter

Oni et al.

Oni et al. is an urban health practice, designing health into cities. We work as technical partners on boundary-spanning science-informed solutions that integrate health into urban systems and environments.   We also offer advisory and speaking services, shaping norms to health-proof the future of cities globally.

Our dual approach to health-proofing the future of cities focuses on increasing the supply of healthy environments, by designing health into the fabric of cities and on building a youth-led movement to increase the demand for natural, built and social environments that make the healthy choice the easy sustainable choice.

Spotlight 01

Cityzens for Clean Air Campaign

The UrbanBetter Cityzens for Clean Air is a youth-led campaign on clean air and physical activity to support evidence-informed advocacy for healthy climate- resilient public spaces in Cape Town, Lagos, and Accra.

We recruited 26 Cityzen Run Leaders to lead pack runs in Cape Town, Accra and Lagos that captured information about the air quality and features of the environment that make it easy or more difficult to run. We then worked with the Run Leaders to use this information to design advocacy tools and tactics being implemented by youth across Africa in November during COP27. 

Spotlight 02

An Environmentalist’s Climate Justice Activism Journey

In conversation with

Nyamrinda Obam

"IF CHAMPIONING FOR CLIMATE ACTION IS WRONG, THEN I WILL DO IT UNTIL IT BECOMES RIGHT."

UrbanBetter Disruptor Nyamrinda Obam is a nature lover, environmentalist and climate justice activist from Kenya.

Core ideas
Public health
Public health

A healthy population is crucial for development, and most factors that influence health are in the environments where people live, study, work and play.

Urban epidemiology

A growing majority of people live in urban areas, making people working in urban sectors and systems de-facto health professionals.

Health foresight

Health foresight should be a central strategy for sustainable urban development for better infrastructure, better air, better food, better transport… better cities.

Science diplomacy

Interventions to create health in cities should be equitable, informed by science. Science diplomacy and boundary-spanning partnerships are vital to “transcend what is” towards health-proofed futures.

Youth

Youth can and must play a central role in effecting societal change, increasing the demand for healthy sustainable cities to make the urban better.

SDGs

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11 (resilient, inclusive, sustainable cities) and SDG 3 (health), a re-imagination of urban health governance is needed, focused on strengthening systems for health, an umbrella term for factors and systems that influence health.

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A healthy population is crucial for development, and most factors that influence health are in the environments where people live, study, work and play.

Urban epidemiology

A growing majority of people live in urban areas, making people working in urban sectors and systems custodians of health across communities.

Health foresight

Health foresight should be a central strategy for sustainable urban development for better infrastructure, better air, better food, better transport… better cities.

Science diplomacy

Interventions to create health in cities should be equitable, informed by science. Science diplomacy and boundary-spanning partnerships are vital to “transcend what is” towards health-proofed futures.

Youth

Youth can and must play a central role in effecting societal change, increasing the demand for healthy sustainable cities to make the urban better.

SDGs

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11 (resilient, inclusive, sustainable cities) and SDG 3 (health), a re-imagination of urban health governance is needed, focused on strengthening systems for health, an umbrella term for factors and systems that influence health.

Values and mission
We aspire for equitable access to health-enabling natural and built environments; conspire with & equip partners across sectors; and inspire to shift and shape norms to health-proof the future of cities.

Our mission is to create health in urban(ising) places.

Beyond healthcare, we design health into the physical and social urban infrastructure in rapidly developing cities.

We value Science-based, Equity-centred, Youth-privileged, and Africa-led approaches to healthy sustainable urban development.
Key Statistics

2050

By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the twenty-first century’s most transformative trends.

12.6 million

In 2012, 12.6 million people died globally as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment.

Air
pollution
kills

more Africans than unsafe water or childhood malnutrition.

03
in 10
people

worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home.

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