Major processes of planetary change — including climate change, urbanisation, and globalisation — are dramatically shifting the ways in which we, as human beings, interact with each other and with the environment. Cities offer new challenges and new opportunities, but their growing complexity threatens to outpace the ability of governments and communities to manage the well-being of their citizens. This is strongly evidenced by the growth of such intractable problems as the obesity epidemic, the rising human and economic tolls of natural disasters, and the increasing pace of the emergence and global spread of pathogens and microbial resistance.
Such problems, which are most strongly felt in urban areas (where most people now live), are the result of decisions made about urban governance and lifestyles. This project seeks to improve our understanding of complex urban problems at the intersection of public health and urban planning and management. It aims to link policy goals on environment, health, and development with local priorities for access to health, health resources, self-reliance, and equity through innovative partnerships at multiple levels of implementation.