ICSU hosts expert group meeting on health within the new urban agenda

Many of the drivers of ill health lie outside of the health sector. There is a major public health concern for cities now and in the future as the interactions of global climate change, urban heat islands, air pollution, and other drivers will place increasing health burdens on cities. The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – will be a defining moment for the future of cities.

ICSU, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, UN-Habitat, United Nations University (UNU), International Society for Urban Health (ISUH), Government of Ghana & Government of Norway is hosting an Expert Group Meeting on how a focus on health issues and the health sector can contribute to building sustainable and healthy cities, and promote the inclusion of health in the New Urban Agenda.

The New Urban Agenda represents a challenge and an opportunity for the health sector. As the single largest gathering of urban stakeholders for decades, Habitat III will also be an important opportunity for the health sector to work with other stakeholders in achieving sustainable urbanisation and ensuring the health of our cities.

The aim of this Expert Group Meeting is to propose text specifically for inclusion in the New Urban Agenda, and an outline for a background report summarizing the evidence on how health can contribute to sustainable urban development. Building on previous events – “Health as the Pulse of the New Urban Agenda” that took place in New York as part of the Habitat III Open-Ended Consultations on April 2016; and the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) on “Health and Wellbeing in The City We Need” in Kuching, Malaysia in January 2016 – “Health Across the New Urban Agenda” will bring together government representatives, civil society organizations, researchers, international organizations together with key stakeholders and local authorities, all with considerable expertise on human health and urban development.

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