#Habitat3: Collaborating across sectors to achieve urban health in sustainable cities

18th October 2016

NCD Alliance and partners will host the event Collaborating across sectors to achieve urban health in sustainable cities, on Thursday 20 October, from 8:00 to 9:00 am at the venue of the Habitat III Conference, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana "Benjamin Carrión".

Co-hosted by HealthBridge Foundation of Canada, Low Carbon City Forum, World Health Organization, International Society for Urban Health, EAT Foundation and Health Care Without Harm, this event will promote rationale for cross‐sectoral action to improve urban health, and will identify good practices in developing and implementing urban initiatives to promote health.

Urban environments offer distinct opportunities to protect public health and enrich quality of life for all. Inclusion of sustainable cities, together with health and climate change in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects the importance of these interlinked priorities for human development.

While strong health systems are critical for treatment of disease, investment in actions which prevent disease in the first instance are particularly beneficial in economic and social terms. 

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory conditions and neurological disorders account for 68% of global mortality; a proportion that continues to grow, and which is projected to cost 47 trillion USD globally from 2011‐2030.

Leading risk factors for NCDs are amplified by the effects of unsustainable urbanisation, including air pollution, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and exposure to chemicals. Air pollution alone is responsible for 7 million deaths globally each year, and physical inactivity for a further 3.2 million. Disease risk factors are furthermore exacerbated by social inequalities, while climate change presents compounded threats to human health.

While the effects of unsustainable urbanisation are observed primarily in the environment and health sectors, the opportunity to prevent these outcomes lies within sectors including urban planning, energy, transport, housing, waste management, education, and agriculture.

Coordinated action across these sectors offers potential for immensely positive impacts on health, climate change, and other areas reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. 


  • Moderator: Mr Dan Kass, Senior Vice President for Environmental Health, Vital Strategies
  • Keynote 1: Dr Carlos Dora, Coordinator Public Health and the Environment Department at World Health Organization – Global perspectives and comparisons for urban health; need for multisectoral collaboration to address prevention as well as treatment; health as a prerequisite for sustainable urbanisation
  • Keynote 2: Mr Medie Lutwama, Executive Director, ACTogether Uganda – Case study of urban parks in Uganda (project in collaboration with HealthBridge).
  • Group Discussion Facilitators:
    • Dr Sue Henshall, Special Advisor, Union for International Cancer Control: Global policy to local implementation
    • Dr Faith Foreman, Assistant Director, Houston Department of Health and Human Services: addressing social determinants of health through the Novo Nordisk Cities Changing Diabetes project (Mexico City, Shanghai, Tianjin, Houston and Copenhagen) 
    • Mr Florian Lorenz, International Coordinator, Low Carbon City Forum 
    • Ms Kristie Daniel, Program Director, Liveable Cities, HealthBridge Foundation of Canada and Mr Medie Lutwama
    • Dr David Rojas, Postdoctoral Fellow, ISGlobal  and/or Ms Carolyn Daher, Coordinator of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative, ISG Global 
    • Dr Stefania Amato, Food Systems Network Manager, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
    • Ms Maria Jose Cisneros Caceres, Program Coordinator on healthy Lifestyles and NCDs, Asociación de Estudiantes de Medicina para Proyectos e Intercambios (AEMPPI).