WHO Kobe Centre calls on Mayors from the METROPOLIS Community to share their vision for improving health of their citizens

In late 2015, WHO and UN HABITAT will publish their second joint report on urban health. The focus of this report will be to highlight solutions undertaken by different sectors of government to improve health and health equity in cities. The global report Hidden Cities: unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings is one important component of the overall WHO and UN-HABITAT strategy to strengthen the response of the local, national and global health communities to reduce health inequities in an increasingly urbanized world. The report exposes the extent to which the urban poor suffer disproportionately from a wide range of diseases and health problems, which can be traced back to inequalities in their social and living conditions. It also provides evidence-based information and tools to help municipal and health authorities tackle health inequities in their cities.

Hidden Cities, the first joint report, was published in 2010 and emphasized the magnitude of health inequities in urban areas around the world. It also laid out a governance framework for cities to effectively tackle health equity.

For this second joint report on urban health METROPOLIS and WHO Kobe Centre are currently liaising with Mexico City, one of METROPOLIS Regional Vice President and Regional Secretary for North America and METROPOLIS Training Institute Antenna for Americas.  A collaboration from the Municipality of Guangzhou, METROPOLIS Co president and Regional Secretary for Asia Pacific is under development as well. More Mayors are expected to participate and engage further with WHO Kobe Centre through their personal insight on urban equity and urban issues. 

Mayors have been at the forefront of applying innovative solutions to ensure the health and welfare of their citizens. Increasingly, Mayors are emphasizing the importance of reducing gaps in health achievements between better-off and worse-off groups of people. Therefore, WHO Kobe Centre would like to invite Mayors to share with audiences of the upcoming report, their vision to improve health and health equity in their cities.

While the World Health Organisation is keen on learning about Mayors’ visions in depth, there are two important overarching questions we would request you to consider first:

1.What are your top priorities and strategies with respect to improving health and health equity in your cities, such as reducing air pollution, healthy urban planning, improving access to health services etc.?

2. Which public health achievements would you most like to be remembered by?

Your responses to the questions will be much appreciated and credited appropriately. Mayors and numerous other policy makers will learn and benefit from your participation in the report. We are certain that you, too, will benefit from the shared experiences of other leaders and policy-makers. Please feel free to share your perspectives directly or request for more information on the new report by contacting the WHO Kobe Centre at prasada@who.int (Mr Amit Prasad) or the METROPOLIS permanent secretariat at abickart@metropolis.org (Ms Agnes Bickart).

To access the First joint report HIDDEN CITIES click here