Urban health and well-being: the programme

This report documents the independent mid-term formative review of the International Science Council (ISC) Urban Health and Wellbeing programme.

Urban health and well-being: the programme

The UHWB programme is a global science programme and interdisciplinary body of the International Science Council, supported by the UNU-IIGH and the IAP. Its IPO is hosted by the IUE of the CAS in Xiamen, China.

The programme‚Äôs vision is to generate policy-relevant knowledge based on a systems approach that will improve health status, reduce health inequalities and enhance the well-being of global urban populations. The programme is designed to build on, and create synergies with, science and policy communities, focusing on population health and addressing a critically important but as-yet inadequately studied perspective on the systemic determinants of human health and well-being.

The programme envisions future healthy cities functioning as integrated complex systems that sustainably provide benefits for the health and well-being of residents without compromising planetary health.

The goals of this science programme reflect a structure as proposed by the planning group report (ICSU 2011):

  1. Promoting and coordinating research projects by generating high-impact scholarly outputs; by enabling better-informed decision-making from the variety of stakeholders involved in urban health and well-being; and by establishing systems approaches to health and well-being in the urban environment as a thriving and relevant area of interdisciplinary research.
  2. Developing methodologies and identifying data needs by proposing innovative systems methodologies and approaches that are applicable to the particular challenges of health and well-being in the urban environment; by identifying data needs that inform and influence the various ongoing and planned observation and monitoring initiatives; and by identifying new data from third research studies that can be made openly available.
  3. Building and strengthening capacity by building scientific capacity and supporting the interdisciplinary platforms necessary for undertaking research into urban health and well-being using a systems approach; by building the capacity of policy-makers and practitioners to understand scientific research on urban health and well-being using a systems approach; by facilitating the establishment of networks in research, business and civil society communities which take a systems approach to urban health and well-being; and by expanding the number of students and young scientists with an interest in undertaking research and entrepreneurial and civil engagement activities for urban health and well-being using systems approaches that engage with substantive policy-relevant issues.
  4. Communicating new knowledge: promotion and outreachby creating a virtual forum as a point of reference for the scientific community and other stakeholders; by promoting interaction and collaboration between researchers and with other relevant stakeholders, via conferences and workshops; and by making results available to multiple stakeholders in a relevant format that allows them to be easily understood.

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