The International Science Council’s Affiliated Body Urban Health and Wellbeing (UHWB) is a global science programme considering the multi-factorial and systemic nature of the determinants and the manifestations of health and wellbeing in urban environments.
Since its launch in October 2014, it has contributed to advancing the new urban sciences by developing and applying systems approaches for a better understanding of cities as complex systems and how urban environments impact health and wellbeing. It has also been essential in connecting different disciplinary fields and programmes and academic networks for developing a new urban health science, which builds on systems and complexity science to advance our understanding of the role of cities and urban environments for improving health and wellbeing and ultimately, sustainable development.
In its new podcast series, UHWB invites international organizations, urban planning and governance thought leaders and urban health scientists who have worked and have been associated with the UHWB programme to share their knowledge, insights, views and outlooks, and to seek ways for collaborating and implementing an inter- and transdisciplinary science agenda for cities’, peoples’ and planetary health.
Episode 1: Systems Science Urban Health and Wellbeing – how we started and what it is
The introductory episode with Dr. Franz Gatzweiler, Executive Director of the UHWB Programme, talks about systems science on Urban Health and Wellbeing, thinking about how the programme started and what it is, asking questions such as:
– Why is urban health and wellbeing such an important subject?
– What are the major problems facing the policy integration of scientific knowledge of urban health and wellbeing?
– What are the citizens understanding, autonomy, and responsibilities in urban health and wellbeing around the world?
– How to connect and consolidate more effectively the global urban health community to channel existing and new knowledge into shaping and formulating policy and action?
– Which thematic or problem areas require attention most urgently?
– Institutional arrangements, technological means, broad public campaign… How to develop and implement global collective action for urban health and wellbeing?
Episode 2: “It all boils down to the issue of governance…”
The second episode focuses on the centrality of the issue of governance. Information mismanagement, supply chain vulnerability, and urban planning insufficiencies… all boil down to the issue of governance. Veteran urban governance expert Nicholas You talks to UHWB about the core urban health issues he observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, exemplified by his personal and professional experiences travelling between two homes in Kenya and Italy, and through his directorship for the Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation.
Episode 3: From Civil Engineering to Impact Finance-Improving Health and Wellbeing One Step at a Time
The third episode features Prof. Peter Head who devoted his decades-long career to improving the urban environment and health and wellbeing all over the world. He departed in civil engineering, designing safe and long-term resilient infrastructures and urban plans, sustainable development goals, and most recently, promoting impact financing in Africa. This episode captures to Peter his well-versed insights on how to improve health and well-being, particularly in the current global context.
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The ISC and the co-sponsors of the programme are pleased to invite nominations to serve on the Scientific Committee of UHWB. Submit your nomination(s) until 29 July 2022.
UHWB is an Affiliated Body of the International Science Council (ISC). It is co-sponsored with the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH), and hosted by the Institute for Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xiamen, PR China.