Resilient Cities - Bonn 2013 - Banner
Resilient Cities - Bonn 2013 - Banner

A3 - Urban health in a changing environment: challenges and opportunities

Session Description

Facilitator: Paul Wilkinson, Professor Environmental Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Panelists:

  • Jonathon Taylor, Senior Research Associate, University College London, London, UK
  • Paul Wilkinson, Professor Environmental Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  • Steve Lindsay, Public Health Entomologist, Durham University, Adviser to the World Health Organization, Durham, UK
  • Sari Kovats, Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health (HPRU ECH), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  • Md. Moinul Islam, Senior Urban Planner, Gazipur City, Bangladesh

Organized by: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London


Climate change and other global environmental changes, exposure to ambient and household air pollution, lack of access to clean water and sanitation all have important effects on health in urban populations. The session will include an overview of data relevant to health and sustainability from open sources, which may be used to examine issues of resilience, sustainability and population health across a representative sample of global cities. It will outline the Lancet Climate Change Countdown process which aims to collect and publish data on progress towards climate and health goals including on health effects of climate change, adaptation and resilience, health co-benefits of the low carbon economy, financial and economic measures and indicators relevant to governance and accountability.

The session will also include a presentation on the unprecedented threat to health posed by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the world’s most efficient transmitter of viruses, which is now present in nearly every tropical and sub-tropical region.  It will discuss how ‘building out’ this mosquito from our towns and cities, particularly through improved housing and water supply systems will help reduce the growing threat from Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever, and keep citizens safe and healthy. Finally, a case study of Gazipur, Bangladesh, which is undergoing  rapid urbanization from the urban expansion of Dhaka,  will show how challenges posed by flooding, solid waste, lack of sanitation and access to clean water  require integrated solutions,  particularly in the face of climate change, which has the potential to greatly magnify the threats to health.