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Empowering Words for Cleaner Skies from the CLEAN-Air Africa Network

The fourth annual International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies (07 September 2023) focusses on the theme, ‘Together for Clean Air’. The theme aims to highlight the urgent need for stronger partnerships, increased investment, and shared responsibility for overcoming air pollution.  The CLEAN-Air Africa

UrbanBetter is hiring a Programme Coordinator!!

We are seeking a programme coordinator who will be responsible for running operations of the expanding work of the group. The successful person will join a pan-African vibrant and growing de-centralised UrbanBetter team. They will be dynamic, with a proven track record in managing complex

air pollution

Citizen science insights on air quality in 3 cities

The Cityzens for Clean Air campaign, part of the UrbanBetter Cityzens initiative, aims to amplify youth voices with advocacy on air pollution, climate and health using citizen scientist data generated by young people. The report is based on PM2.5 and NO2 air quality data collected

Air Of Excitement 

In this blog #UrbanBetter Disruptor, Waziri Mainasara Abubakar writes about his recent visit to a park in Lagos and what he discovered about the air quality at the park. “We spoke and he’ll be more than delighted to host you guys. He said to me that he

An Activist Architect Advocating for Healthy Public Spaces

On the 25th of September 2022, Lagos held its first ever Car-Free day. To commemorate this event, Cityzens4CleanAir Run Leaders organised and led a run through the streets of Lagos, using the opportunity to advocate for clean air and healthy public spaces. We asked #UrbanBetter Disruptor, Olasumbo Olaniyi,

Urban Health Governance -ISUH Africa Community of Practice webinar

Hosted by the Africa Community of Practice of the International Society for Urban Health, the webinar, centred around “Urban Health Governance”, is part of the Urban Health in Africa Webinar Series and will be held on 28th April 2022. The speakers will include actors from

A Climate Activist’s Journey into Climate Justice Activism

#UrbanBetter Disruptor Nyombi Morris is a climate justice activist from Uganda, Social media manager at Rise Up Movement and an ambassador at UNOCHA. We asked him to tell us about his journey into climate justice activism and what motivates him. A world where natural resources

An Environmentalist’s Activism Journey

#UrbanBetter Disruptor Lily Tanui is a  nature enthusiast from Kenya. We asked her to tell us about her journey as an Environmentalist. My passion for nature started when I was young. My father is a herbalist, Dr Shadrack Moimett of Koibatek Herbal Clinic, and as

An Environmentalist’s Climate Justice Activism Journey

#UrbanBetter #Disruptor Nyamrinda Obam is a nature lover, environmentalist and climate justice activist from Kenya. We asked him to tell us about how he got into climate justice activism and what motivates him. I  was born and raised in Siaya County in the western part

Heart health: design cities differently and it can help us live longer

By 2050, it is projected that almost 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, up from 55% today. The fastest urban growth is happening in Asia and Africa, which is also where we’re seeing a rapid rise in people suffering from, and dying of, heart disease.

Health is Everyone’s Business

Health is everyone’s business. When we talk about health, we think about hospitals, clinics and diseases that people have. But the vast majority of the factors and exposures that influence health lie outside of the healthcare sector. So while we subconsciously feel and act as

Rethinking Urban Health

The concept of planetary boundaries was developed to capture the ecological limits within which humanity can live sustainably in the long term. Globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, four planetary boundaries have already been exceeded: land-use change (with urbanisation), climate change, biodiversity loss and

For Thought Summit On Building A Resilient, Innovative And Prosperous Future For All

“Put future generations at the heart of our institutional and systems decision-making”.  That’s the top recommendation that emerged from the For Thought summit, organised by the British Science Association and partners.  The summit convened diverse leaders from business, policy, science and civil society, including UrbanBetter’s

Why we need to make planetary health part of city design

Several of the goals set out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in effect fall under the umbrella of planetary health as they aim to transform the health and wellbeing of the continent and provide a framework for inclusive sustainable cities. We just need a roadmap and an action plan.

In this commentary, UrbanBetter founder – Prof Oni – sets out the importance of making planetary health part of city design in Africa and the critical role of youth, innovative financing and visionary public leadership.

Read the commentary below:

A Climate Activist’s Journey

#UrbanBetter Disruptor, Dorcas Wakio Mugo, is a Kenyan environmental and climate activist studying Marine Resource Management at the Technical University of Mombasa. We asked her to tell us about her personal journey into climate activism, what motivates her, and her advice for the current and

Ellyanne at Crater Lake, Naivasha National Park, Kenya

Africa’s Youngest Climate Change Ambassador’s Journey

#UrbanBetter Disruptor Ellyanne Chlystun-Githae Wanjiku is an 11-year-old environmentalist and Africa’s Youngest Climate Change Ambassador who is putting us all to shame. As Kenya’s Youngest Mashujaa (national hero), she started planting trees aged 4 and has planted over 1 million trees.  We spoke to Ellyanne

Combating Systemic Discrimination In Science

The Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 – related to the death of George Floyd – in the United States of America have shone a light on systemic racism globally. The events have brought into questions matters of discrimination in all facets of life, including

Tolullah Oni, the Principal of Oni et al and Founder of UrbanBetter

Commissioner, The Pathfinder Initiative

Using real-world case studies and robust scientific evidence, the Pathfinder Initiative aims to synthesise lessons and highlight gaps in implementing practical pathways to zero-carbon societies across diverse settings. Highlighting knowledge gaps and identifying these pathways will enable significant improvements to be achieved with minimal delay

Cities Can Champion Biodiversity Preservation For Planetary Health

As we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May, we need to remember that cities can and must be part of solutions to protect biodiversity. Indeed, the COVID- 19 pandemic has reminded us that we need more green and resilient cities that

Global Future Council on Clean Air Post

Council member, Global Future Council on Clean Air

The Global Future Council on Clean Air comprises experts from across mobility, health, energy and cities. The council will drive thought leadership and inform cutting-edge solutions; look for opportunities for innovating, shaping and scaling collective progress; and support the World Economic Forum in building a

How the power of youth can help fight air pollution across Africa | Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

How the power of youth can help fight air pollution across Africa

Air pollution kills more people in Africa than unsafe drinking water or malnutrition.

In this commentary to commemorate the first ever United Nations (UN) International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 7 September 2020, UrbanBetter founder, Prof Oni sets out the importance of air quality for health and the threats to health posed by urban development processes that worsen air quality for the majority.

Read the commentary below:

Health Emergency of Climate Change

The first episode of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Health Emergency of Climate Change series, recorded in March 2021, focused on positioning health and well-being at the centre of the climate change discussion.  The Health Emergency of Climate Change series brought together leading healthcare experts

Designing for health | Photo by Reuben Hayfron on Unsplash

Designing for health:
with Monocle’s The Urbanist podcast

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of urban environments for health.  It’s surely irrational to ask people to be more physically active if walking or cycling is dangerous. So how can the barriers to healthy behaviours in the environment be taken down?  How can

Health-proofing Our Future; Future-proofing Our Planet

How do we integrate health in today’s urban settings? What does re-thinking health involve? At the Commonwealth Science Conference 2021, UrbanBetter’s Dr Tolullah Oni spoke about health-proofing our future and our planet. In the talk, urbanisation and health today is highlighted giving context for why

U.S. Congressional Briefing on Science Diplomacy

What are some of the critical lessons that policymakers can draw from how public health education can mitigate distrust in science? How might science diplomacy efforts operate at different scales of government to foster global cooperation? These were some of the questions discussed at a

#UrbanBetter countdown to #AfricaDay

Africa Day 2021 was the 25th May!​

We celebrated with a daily countdown from 01 May featuring work by individuals, organisations and governments in cities creating healthier, sustainable environments.

Catch up on all 24 featured cities across Africa making the #urbanbetter.

An illustration using light blue, yellow, navy blue, beige and white, all colours synonymous with UrbanBetter and Oni et al