Urban Health

Urbanization is one of the key global trends of the 21st century that has a substantial impact on health, according to the World Health Organization. Over 55% of the world's population lives in urban areas; by 2050, this number is projected to rise to 68%. As the majority of future urban expansion will occur in developing nations, the global community has a unique opportunity to direct urbanization and other significant urban development trends in a manner that protects and promotes health. This is significant, because the health and well-being of a city's residents may be its most valuable asset.

Noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, asthma, cancer, and diabetes are aggravated by poor living and working conditions, limited green space, pollution such as noise, water and soil contamination, urban heat islands, and a lack of walking and cycling space. Diabetes is associated with obesity and physical inactivity in places without adequate transit and walking/cycling infrastructure. High rates of depression, anxiety, and mental illness are also connected to urbanization.

Infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, dengue, and diarrhoea thrive in poor and congested conditions and are intimately associated with filthy housing, inadequate sanitation, and ineffective waste management. The propagation of diseases such as the Zika and Ebola viruses is facilitated by ineffective municipal garbage management.