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.
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.
Health through human settlements: Investigating policymakers’ perceptions of human settlement action for population health improvement in urban South Africa.
In this commentary, we highlight five aspects of the ordinary – known interactions between urban environments and physical activity – that are amplified by the extraordinary – an unprecedented societal response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Using Lagos, Nigeria as a case study, we illustrate the possibility of re-thinking urban development and the potential for urban (re)form to address health inequalities in African megacities in the context of post-COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have lost our way with thinking about the purpose of cities,…we need to prioritise public health infrastructure”. In this interview with the International Science Council’s Global Science TV host Nuala Hafner, Oni et al. Principal, Tolullah Oni, explains what that means and how it could help avoid future global health crises.
A global Marshall Plan to improve planetary health could safeguard the future of fast-growing cities, writes Tolullah Oni, a public health physician and urban epidemiologist.
She argues that reimagining urban planning decisions would reduce vulnerability to disease and improve health.
This first and very engaging webinar in a series hosted by the Global Health Governance: Building the Reset campaign, highlighted the importance of work on planetary health as the next frontier and integrated governance vision for the future. Around a hundred people participated in this dynamic online encounter, exploring the transformative potential of planetary health as a new compass for renovating health governance.
A Marshall plan for urban health in Africa’s cities: Harnessing urban infrastructure development post-COVID-19 to build resilient systems and policies for inclusive (human and planetary) health
Creating inclusive health will require a focus on systems for health, an umbrella term for factors and systems that determine health. Within this umbrella, the healthcare system, a necessary and vital component, is part of the broader systems of health that influence health such as urban
Here, we offer a set of practice and policy suggestions that aim to (1) dampen the spread of COVID-19 based on the latest available science, (2) improve the likelihood of medical care for the urban poor whether or not they get infected, and (3) provide economic, social, and physical improvements and protections to the urban poor, including migrants, slum communities, and their residents, that can improve their long-term well-being.
The first in INGSA’s COVID-19 Video Series, that will be asking a diverse range of experts:
How has the world changed and what challenges will we face post-COVID?
Prof Tolu Oni discusses what has been revealed by the crisis, our need for ‘Emergency Health Foresight’, how preparedness is not enough, and what the world is at risk of un-learning in the wake of the crisis.
A participatory approach to building a coalition of health and planning sector urban actors in Africa-a Douala case-study
Developing a participatory approach to building a coalition of transdisciplinary actors for healthy urban planning in African cities – a case study of Douala, Cameroon
After every global emergency, those who extended support to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable usually snap back to “business as usual,” all but ensuring that the next crisis will be as severe as the last. This time must be different.
Health, it turns out, is everybody’s business. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this clear, laying bare the gaping cracks in our societal systems that have driven the emergence and unprecedented transmission of a novel coronavirus; and highlighting the need for a more health-aligned societal reset.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22, to demonstrate support for environmental protection and represents a day of action to shift human behaviour and provoke policy changes. The very first celebration took place in 1970, and it has now grown to a staggering global event with celebrations in more than 193 countries involving over a billion people.
The presenters highlighted that this pandemic is a result of a much larger global sustainability crisis, coming from human activities which have to radically change for a more healthy sustainable planet.
Dr Oni focused on the integration of disparate domains into governance systems that serve human health and support sustainable cities.
Using Cape Town, South Africa, and Douala, Cameroon, as case studies, this LIRA project (2018–2020), led by Tolullah Oni, seeks to develop a practical health and housing-integrated collaboration model that will improve urban policymaking and governance for the planning of African cities. The project brings together academic and non-academic stakeholders representing a range of expertise: public health, health geography, urban planning, and demography. The project contributes to SDG 3 and SDG 11.
A Systematised Review of the Health Impact of Urban Informal Settlements and Implications for Upgrading Interventions in South Africa, a Rapidly Urbanising Middle-Income Country
Informal settlements are becoming more entrenched within African cities as the urban population continues to grow. Characterised by poor housing conditions and inadequate services, informal settlements are associated with an increased risk of disease and ill-health. However, little is known about how informal settlement upgrading impacts health over time. A systematised literature review was conducted to explore existing evidence and knowledge gaps on the association between informal settlement characteristics and health and the impact of informal settlement upgrading on health, within South Africa, an upper-middle-income African country.
Breaking down the silos of Universal Health Coverage: towards systems for the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases in Africa
African countries are not on track to achieve global targets for non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention, driven by an insufficient focus on ecological drivers of NCD risk factors, including poor urban development and the unbridled proliferation of the commercial determinants of health.
Bolder action for health in Africa: From building health systems to building systems for health for NCD prevention
African countries are not on track to achieve the targets for NCD prevention and management.
This video clip is from the full-length video (see link below) of Session 16: Science-policy interface and emerging issues, which took place on Friday, 14 July at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.
This commentary presents a conceptual framework, using a public health approach, for interdisciplinary research aimed at contributing to the understanding and mitigation of urban health issues and challenges in Africa.