2010: A year-long focus on urbanization and health

A city street with World Health Day flags

To ensure sustained action on the topic of urbanization and health throughout 2010, a series of events highlighted the health risks in urban settings and the actions and policy options that can be taken to improve health in cities.

1. World Health Day 2010

The aim of World Health Day 2010 was to draw attention to urbanization and health, recognizing that in an increasingly urbanized world, health issues present new challenges that go far beyond the health sector and require action at the global, national, community, and individual levels. Over 1500 cities joined the World Health Day activities to mark the launch of the year-long focus on the issue.

2. A joint WHO/UN-HABITAT Global Report on urban health inequities

The report, entitled "Hidden cities: unmasking and overcoming urban health inequities" was published on 17 November 2010 and exposes the extent to which the urban poor suffer disproportionately from a wide range of diseases and health problems. It provides evidence to help municipal and health authorities reduce health inequities in their cities.

3. Global Forum, Kobe

The Forum brought together mayors, municipal leaders and national ministers across multiple sectors for a declaration of action to reduce health inequities in cities. The Forum was held in Kobe, Japan, 15–17 November 2010.