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. 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
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
“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
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.
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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.
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.
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“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
“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
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.
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’,
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.
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.
Abstract The African continent is predicted to be home to over half of the expected global population growth between 2015 and 2050, highlighting the importance of addressing population health in Africa for improving public health globally. By 2050, nearly 60% of the population of the
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 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.