The importance of this approach was made especially clear in 2020 in a commentary published by the UHWB scientific committee on how ‘COVID-19 reveals the systemic nature of urban health globally’.
The UHWB programme has a global partnership network of more than 40 organizations, and continued to build on this through 2020, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) to promote sustainable green urban development and the local implementation of sustainability goals worldwide. The programme is also continuing its collaboration with UN-Habitat on the sourcebook Integrating Health in Urban and Territorial Planning.
In June 2020, IUE-CAS and UHWB jointly established the Belt and Road Alliance of Urban Environmental Health under the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO). The Alliance will carry out in-depth research and cooperation in waste recycling, agriculture, healthy food and biomass and other urban ecosystem technologies. In 2020 the programme also developed a new research agenda for 2021–2025, which will be published in 2021.