Measuring urban health

Since 2007, the majority of the world's population lives in urban areas. The impact of urbanization on population health, health equity and the environment are key concerns for national and municipal authorities.

At WHO Kobe Centre we have three main initiatives for measuring and monitoring urban health:

1. to work with city and national officials to translate evidence into action;
2. to develop a global observatory as a one-stop shop for data and knowledge on urban health;
3. to develop methods and standards for measuring and monitoring urban health.

fact buffet

Metrics in action

78countries have built capacity on using Urban HEART to act on health inequities

Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART)

Trends in urban health

828 millionurban residents live in slum conditions worldwide

Urban health observatory

Monitoring ageing societies

31municipalities in Japan are engaged in developing benchmarks to evaluate the long-term care insurance policy

Innovations in measurement

Highlights

New publication: “A flexible Urban Health Index for small area disparities”

May 2014 - A new publication in the Journal of Urban Health presents an Urban Health Index (UHI), developed jointly by the WHO Kobe Centre and its partners at the School of Public Health, Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA). The UHI can be used to identify and map intra-urban disparities in health determinants or outcomes. The UHI is a novel measure, whose method rather than content is standardized, and may be of use for local evaluation, for decision making, and for area comparison.

Handbook on Health Inequality Monitoring with a special focus on low-and middle-income countries

July 2013 -- The World Health Organization has recently published a handbook on “Health Inequality Monitoring”. The handbook is focused on building the practical knowledge and skills for systematic monitoring of health inequalities in low- and middle-income countries.

New WKC Publication: “Inequalities in noncommunicable disease mortality in the ten largest Japanese cities”

June 2013 -- A new publication prepared by the WHO Kobe Centre, “Inequalities in noncommunicable disease mortality in the ten largest Japanese cities”, was published by the Journal of Urban Health. This study focused on the ten largest cities in Japan and, using publicly available administrative data, analysed standardized mortality ratios to examine inequalities in relative mortality levels due to major noncommunicable diseases at both city and subcity levels.

Hidden cities: unmasking and overcoming urban health inequities

New evidence on urban health inequities around the globe is presented in Hidden cities: unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings, a joint report by WHO and UN-HABITAT released in 2010. The WHO Kobe Centre promotes the kind of evidence and analytical methods used in this report to reveal health inequities affecting urban populations everywhere and to enable city leaders to act on them.

Contact us

World Health Organization Centre for Health Development
1-5-1 Wakinohama-Kaigandori
Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-0073
Japan
Telephone: (+81) 78-230-3100
Fax: (+81) 78-230-3178
E-mail: wkc@who.int