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
Urban Health Data in Africa and Latin America: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities – ISUH Community of Practice Webinar Report
Hosted by the Africa Community of Practice of the International Society for Urban Health, the webinar “Urban Health Data in Africa and Latin America: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities”, is part of the Urban Health in Africa Webinar Series and was held on 23rd February 2023.
Urban Health Data in Africa and Latin America: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities -ISUH Africa Community of Practice webinar
Hosted by the Africa Community of Practice of the International Society for Urban Health, the webinar “Urban Health Data in Africa and Latin America: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities”, is part of the Urban Health in Africa Webinar Series and will be held on 23rd February
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,
UrbanBetter | Oni et al
Are you at COP27?
Appropriation of public space and urban infrastructure for leisure physical activity (ALPhA) -Second Lagos and Yaoundé stakeholder workshop reports
The research project “Informal Appropriation of Public Space for Leisure Physical Activity in Lagos and Yaoundé (ALPhA)”, led by the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Universities of Lagos and Yaoundé, aims to re-imagine urban space for healthy, safe leisure physical activity in Lagos,
Campaign for clean air and healthier public spaces
Passionate about clean air and healthier public spaces for physical activity in your city?
Join the Cityzens for Clean Air campaign!
Advancing participatory air quality management for urban health in Lagos:
Inaugural knowledge sharing and co-creation workshop
Air pollution – largely from industrial sources, motor vehicles, burning biomass and desert dust – kills more Africans than unsafe water, unsafe sanitation or childhood malnutrition, with significant implications for human development. Despite this, air quality monitoring remains inadequate across most of the continent. This highlights the
Urban Health Governance -ISUH Africa Community of Practice webinar report
The second webinar hosted by the Africa Community of Practice of the ISUH on the 28th of April 2022 centered around “Urban Health Governance”. This was a sequel to the inaugural webinar which is part of the Urban Health in Africa Webinar Series. The speakers
The other pandemic: social media engagement around non-communicable disease preventive behaviours during Nigeria’s COVID-19 lockdowns
Abstract Given the complexity of global health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is typical for crisis-focused interventions to have a multiplicity of impacts. Some of these impacts may yield positive or negative externalities for health priorities that do not have the same perceived
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
Pairing Academia and Policy for Transdisciplinary Research in Africa – Inaugural webinar of the ISUH Africa Community of Practice
The inaugural webinar of the Africa Community of Practice of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) – “Pairing academia and policy for transdisciplinary research in Africa” – was held on the 2nd December 2021. The event brought together over 30 scholars, government and non-government
A Systematic Review Protocol of Opportunities for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention via Public Space Initiatives in African Cities
Abstract Public spaces have the potential to produce equitable improvements in population health. This mixed-methods systematic review aims to understand the components of, determinants, risks, and outcomes associated with public space initiatives in African cities. This study will include quantitative and qualitative study designs that
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
Progress Overall is Not Progress for All: How Can We Reset African Urban Systems for a Healthier post-COVID World?
Since the emergence of the new SARS CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 pandemic, the unprecedented pace of scientific discovery has resulted in the speedy development of new treatments and vaccines. While planning for cycles of infection surges will likely remain necessary for a while, inclusive
Appropriation of public space and urban infrastructure for leisure physical activity (ALPhA)
-Lagos and Yaoundé stakeholder workshop reports
As part of the research project on Informal Appropriation of Public Space for Leisure Physical Activity in Lagos and Yaoundé, led by the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Universities of Lagos and Yaoundé, the ALPhA research team hosted a first stakeholder workshop on
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
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
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
Africa Development Bank’s matrix of policy options for inclusive health in post-COVID Africa
The unexpected shocks inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy have resulted in varying global, regional, and national policy responses. Countries have adopted unprecedented policy measures based on their capacities to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its widespread impacts. In
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
International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Global High-Level Panel
The role and functionality of science advice and science diplomacy mechanisms around the world have been severely tested by the COVID-19 pandemic. “What was done right and what has gone wrong in pandemic responses to date?” In September 2020, the International Network for Government Science
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
Committee member, Ethnicity sub-group, UK Govt Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)
Overview The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) provides scientific advice to the government of the United Kingdom in the event of emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the main SAGE committee, several sub-committees are constituted to provide advice on emergent topics,
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:
How To Improve Urban Health:
a conversation with The Economist’s Babbage podcast
The COVID-19 pandemic brought out an important aspect of cities that had been neglected: Urban Health. To build back better, cities will need to improve access to healthy environments to solve and prevent public health challenges. In March 2021, UrbanBetter’s Tolullah Oni spoke to Kenneth
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
How To Improve Urban Health:
A Conversation With The Economist’s Babbage Podcast
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was strongly felt in cities. It brought out the importance of health and cities. What is a good life? Aristotle pointed out that there is no good life without a good society. Reflecting on the year in an episode
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
Could electric-powered motorcycles (e-bodas) reduce air pollution in Kampala and other rapidly growing African cities?
Kampala is one of the fastest urbanising cities in Africa, with an annual population growth rate of over 4% for the last ten years, a population of more than 6 million people living in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) and a daily influx of
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.
Sustainability for Whom?
Global sustainability cannot be realised without achieving sustainability for the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities. These are the low-income and middle-income countries, as well as those increasingly left behind in high-income countries. Yet the framing of sustainability, investment in innovation, and academic analysis has been
Sustainable Design Webinar
The second webinar in the AfriSam-SAIA’s series on Sustainable Design, which took place in August 2020, featured UrbanBetter founder Dr. Tolullah Oni in conversation with Dr. Philippa Tumubweinee, Head of School at Architecture Planning & Geomatics, University of Cape Town. The theme of the webinar,
Xiamen Call for Action: Building the Brain of the City – Universal Principles of Urban Health
The question of how to achieve healthy, sustainable urban futures demands a singular emphasis. The scale and rate of change of modern urbanisation is unprecedented – so much so that it threatens the health gains of the past century. Urbanisation is the greatest ecological shift in human history, and in modern times has attained dimensions never seen before. We have mere decades to enact the greatest transformational change the planet has ever seen, if we are to safeguard a sustainable future. Indeed, the scope, scale, and ambition of transformative efforts need to accelerate dramatically, if humanity is to achieve sustainability before being overwhelmed by global change.
Re-imagining Healthy Cities For People And Nature
If we could discount our future, would we act now, knowing that the decisions made now will shape the risk of emergencies for decades to come?
The commentary below explores a new strategy to health-proof the future of urban development.
Read the commentary below:
Twelve Months of COVID-19: Shaping the Next Era of Science Diplomacy
“Never before in living memory have the connections between our scientific world and our social world been quite so stark as they are today.” Dr. Alondra Nelson, Deputy Director-designate for Science and Society, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy1 COVID-19 is the first
Making the ‘Urban’ Better: Planetary health conversations on building healthy sustainable cities in the era of COVID-19 and beyond…
“The greatest threat to positive societal reset is not the challenges of the present but a stagnant mindset of impossibility”.
Join us to make the UrbanBetter, one breath at a time…
To celebrate the first UN International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 07 September 2020, Urban Better and Engage Africa Foundation are running a challenge.
Integrating health in human settlements
Health through human settlements: Investigating policymakers’ perceptions of human settlement action for population health improvement in urban South Africa.