Founded in 2012 City Health International is a network of individuals and organisations engaged in the study of and response to structural health issues and health behaviours in the urban environment.
For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population now live in urban environments and the proportion continues to grow. As national governments struggle to deal with the pressures and demands of growing urban populations against a backdrop of financial deficits and uncertainty, it is increasingly left to those working at a city level to provide the leadership and support needed to tackle key health issues.
We are likely to see further challenges to urban quality of life in the next decades. These circumstances have given rise to a large number of imaginative and creative ‘bottom-up’ community responses to meet needs in relation to health and well-being.
Much urban health research and planning has been focussed on the impact of the physical environment and has not been cross-sectoral, or multidisciplinary. Nor does it focus on how urban population health behaviours might be influenced to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life, health and well-being.
The focus of City Health International is on health and well-being. We concentrate on health behaviours – including alcohol and drug use, diet, sexual behaviour, violence – and the structural factors that affect health behaviours, including housing, migration and tourism; and we employ an ‘inclusive’ approach, engaging with NGOs, community projects, advocacy groups, as well as academics, policy makers and those who deliver services and interventions.
City Health international holds an annual international conference, in a different location each year, which examines current policy and practice in relation to public health and health behaviours in cities.
The network also exists to assist colleagues to organise local/national/regional seminars and dialogues, addressing topics of special interest.
City Health International uses social media to stimulate discussion and debate, ensuring it achieves the aim to be inclusive.