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Urbanization and Cities as Drivers of Global Health

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Abstract

Urbanization, urban planning and population health are closely related and interdependent. This chapter provides a multidisciplinary perspective of cities as drivers of global health. It presents a historical introduction of urbanization and highlights the challenges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of cities, particularly SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) as interlinked with SDG3 (health and wellbeing). It mentions synergies and trade-offs between the goals and the importance of incorporating health in all policies as a multisectoral approach to urban development in both the Global South and Global North, with the need to engage not only decision makers, urban planners and researchers, but also the voices of community and advocacy groups to ensure no one is left behind. It also examines inner-city inequalities as well as gender differences in urban mobility, including recommendations for gender-responsive interventions. The importance of developing policy-relevant urban indicators to measure progress towards achieving SDG 11 is also highlighted. Lastly, several urban health case studies are presented, providing insight into the relevant drivers of global health challenges.