While cities may provide better access to health services, urban environments contribute to ill health in myriad ways. Urbanization brings risks such as food and nutrition insecurity, inadequate sanitation and waste disposal, and infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, and water-borne diseases. Urban living fuels unhealthy lifestyles, including crowded living conditions, poor diet, tobacco use, and alcohol and drug abuse.
While the challenges are immense, the future of human development depends on creating healthier urban environments. This understanding drives our work with partners to find solutions to the public health challenges of rapid urbanization.
We build strong coalitions among civil society and government health stakeholders, and engage civic authorities to strengthen systems for sustainable and equitable service delivery to the urban poor. Our cross-discipline, market-based approaches quickly generate new evidence that enables us to adapt best practices to urban realities. We build local capacity and develop targeted interventions that prioritize planning and resources for underserved urban populations.
Our experience in urban settings throughout the world has given us a nuanced understanding of the demand for and barriers to access and use of health and health-related services. We contribute to sustainable solutions to urban health challenges, including:
- HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support
- Safe motherhood
- Water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Healthy urban planning
- Citizen engagement
- Social and behavioral change