City Health International

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City Health International is delighted to announce we have established a blog on the website to promote debate and discussion around current issues of interest to the network. David MacKintosh, one of the founders of the network, writes a weekly piece, posted here. We also invite contributions to the blog from others with ideas and opinions on issues relating to health behaviours and urban health and well being and who wish to share with others. If you would like to contribute, please send your post to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will ensure it is posted on the site and placed in the weekly City Health alerts sent to those in the network.

You can find examples in almost every city, they come in many shapes and types, their popularity waxes and wanes, they can be stark, even ugly, deliberately uncomfortable or attractive, artistic even and ergonomic with consideration given to different populations and individual needs. They intersect my professional worlds of health and community safety policy. Their popularity, use and design tell us a great deal about urban problems and responses to these. Over recent months they have attracted a great deal of my attention and have achieved a new level of importance. This week I am going to consider the humble city bench. I would also like you to consider those in your area.

 В течение последних двух недель я был в командировках, объединяя поездки с посещением друзей и родственников. Я наслаждался солнечным теплом во Флориде, видом цветущих вишен в Вашингтоне и очарованием Питтсбурга. Этот бывший сталелитейный город заново находит себя, будучи двадцать лет в депрессивном состоянии. Политическое и гражданское лидерство, поддерживаемое сильным академическим сектором, технологическими отраслями и перестройкой побережья реки, дали Питтсбургу ощутимый оптимизм. Так получилось, что мой приезд совпал с годовщиной разработки первой успешной вакцины от полио в Университете Питтсбурга д-ром Йонасом Салком (о чем было объявлено миру 12 апреля 1955 года). Это было поистине важной вехой в глобальном общественном здоровье. Когда его спросили о том, кто владеет патентом на вакцину, д-р Salk ответил: «Ну, люди. Я бы сказал, что патента нет. Можете ли вы запатентовать солнце? » Это человек с большими идеалами, а также медицинской экспертизой.

1970-х и 80-х годах, когда я рос, в прайм тайм на телевидении была научная программа, которая рассказывала о положительном потенциале новых изобретений и технологий. В неумолимо позитивном тоне, несмотря на частые неудачи, когда докладчики и изобретатели испытывали проблемы с демонстрацией прототипов в прямом эфире. Несмотря на то, что это вызывало определенную степень насмешки, и большая часть массового обращения заключалась в том, что демонстрации и эксперименты шли не так, это обеспечило оптимистичное видение будущего, в котором мы все выиграем. Это был отличный противовес другим различным видениям будущего, которое предлагалось через книги, фильмы или телевидение, и которое было явной антиутопией. Были различные сценарии пост-ядерного апокалипсиса, глобальные пандемии (телевизионное шоу Выжившие (Survivors) оказало глубокое влияние на меня восьмилетнего), и, конечно же, были опасения по поводу исчерпания ресурсов, захвата планеты роботами, загрязнения, угрожающего человечеству, угроз из космоса. Угрозы были значительными, некоторые казались более ощутимыми, чем другие. Тем не менее вы могли бы обоснованно утверждать, что большинство обществ с оптимизмом смотрят (хотя и немного обеспокоенно) на будущее, и одной из главных причин этого было очевидное улучшение здоровья.

For the last two weeks I have been on my travels, combining a holiday with visiting friends and family. This has seen me enjoying the sunshine in Florida, the cherry blossom of Washington DC and the delights of Pittsburgh. This former steel city is visibly reinventing itself after some twenty years in the doldrums. Political and civic leadership aided by a strong academic sector, tech industries and redevelopment of its riverside has given Pittsburgh a tangible air of optimism. It so happens that my arrival here coincided with the anniversary of the development of the first successful polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh by Dr Jonas Salk (announced to the world on 12 April 1955). Truly a major milestone in global public health. When asked about who owned the patent to the vaccine, Dr Salk replied, “Well the people I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” A man of great ideals as well as medical expertise.

Monday, September 23, 2019
Sometimes things just work out. Last Monday, I was involved in three separate events which each highlighted the potential of urban areas to effectively tackle health issues when there is political leadership to do so. The day also provided a timely reminder of the importance of harm reduction, and how this needs to be at the heart of health approaches in our cities. With so many countries and agencies forgetting the lessons of harm reduction, or actively turning their back on them for narrow ideological reasons, it was uplifting to hear examples which delivered quantifiable gains in terms of lives, better health, and human rights.
Monday, September 09, 2019
With City Health 2019 in Melbourne now only weeks away, a headline in the papers caught my eye. According to the annual Global Liveability Index- whose criteria include stability, healthcare, culture, education, environment, and infrastructure- the Austrian capital Vienna narrowly beats Melbourne to the top spot. Of course, such rankings are open to debate and dependent on what you choose to measure but it’s fair to say the occupants of city halls take a degree of pride in seeing “their” cities topping the charts.
Monday, September 02, 2019
This is not the blog I was planning to write. My intention was to look at developments in managing the Night Time Economy across a number of cities, an area where there is innovation and positive developments. Instead I feel compelled to look at an issue where the UK and others are demonstrably going backwards. Battles we thought had been won in fact appear lost, progress has not just stalled but been significantly reversed. It poses hard questions for many organisations and for individuals, including myself. So, come with me as I look at drug related deaths.
Monday, July 29, 2019
I write this on a day when London is experiencing, what is for us, exceptional temperatures. Overhead power lines and train tracks have warped. On some routes passengers have been advised to avoid travelling if possible, and many employers have encouraged staff to work from home. I suspect many who did travel to their workplaces were drawn by the prospect of effective air conditioning as much as personal work ethic. This great City was unusually quiet, apart from the pubs and bars who were doing a roaring trade. Who would begrudge people a pint of beer or a glass of wine when it’s so damn warm, especially when by delaying travelling an hour or two, the journey home may be made a little more tolerable?

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CITY HEALTH INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

CHI Melbourne 2019

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CHI Liverpool 2019

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CHI Odessa 2018

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CHI Basel 2017

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CHI London 2016

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CHI Barcelona 2015

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CHI Amsterdam 2014

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CHI Glasgow 2013

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CHI London 2012

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City Health International
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.