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’s 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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.