World Health Innovation Summit is a platform that brings public and private partnerships together to fund and deliver healthcare solutions globally.
The WHIS Healthy Cities Initiative is a worldwide Initiative that unleashes the potential of cities to accelerate sustainable development and improve citizens health and wellbeing. It aims to respond to and generate demand amongst cities to pursue the achievement of SDGs during the Decade of Action (2020-30).
The initiative is an ambitious goal of supporting cities to accelerate their achievement of the SDGs and the impact this would have through good health and wellbeing.
With 55% of the world’s population living in urban areas and an additional 2.5 billion urban
residents expected in the next 30 years, and with 65 percent of SDG targets being relevant to cities,
it’s no surprise the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities. ref: UN
In 2015 the UN Member States committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda, comprising of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The SDGs are comprehensive and
represent globally agreed priorities of addressing poverty, and hunger; ensuring good health, and education; reducing inequalities and achieving gender equality; ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and affordable, clean energy; harnessing innovation, industry and infrastructure, to generate economic growth and decent jobs; ensuring cities and communities and safe, inclusive and sustainable; ensuring responsible consumption while protecting life on land and below water; combating and adapting to climate change, and ensuring peace and justice.
Through the global pledge to Leave No One Behind, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first. To achieve this, efforts from all levels of government and all of society, including the private sector and civil society, along with innovation and the investment of public and private capital are necessary. The 17 SDGs are integrated; meaning that actions in one area are linked to outcomes in others, and hence must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Key Focus Areas for Healthy Cities:
Public health and pandemic
Cities were on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN’s Report COVID-19 in an Urban World (2020) noted that 90% of reported cases at that time were in urban areas. While urban density was found not in itself to be a decisive factor in the transmission of the virus, inequality, inadequate housing, strained health systems, inadequate water and sanitation services and pollution made certain urban areas vulnerable. The pandemic calls for a renewed emphasis on a just and green urban transition, and a renewed focus on addressing inequalities in cities.
Urban areas are major contributors to climate change, accounting for 71 to 76% of CO2 emissions. In the coming decades, hundreds of millions of people in urban areas are likely to be affected by climate impacts including rising sea levels, inland floods, more frequent and stronger cyclones and storms, and periods of more extreme heat and cold. Compact cities with net-zero emissions can help mitigate climate change, and effective planning and local regulations can strengthen resilience. Nature-based solutions have an increasingly prominent role in strengthening resilience, while promoting biodiversity.
Cities generate wealth but also concentrate poverty and inequality. This takes many forms, from overcrowded slums in the developing world to homelessness and pockets of destitution in the developed world. Years of remarkable progress reduce poverty (1) have been reversed by COVID-19 and rapid urbanisation has given rise to greater levels of inequality. 2. A growing body of evidence links inequality to the onset of popular rebellion that can lead to civil unrest, conflict and instability. 3. The call to “leave no-one behind” is more important than ever and can be realised in cities though inclusive accountable governance, and ensuring access to affordable land and adequate housing, basic services, health and education.
Compounded issues of climate change, conflict and inequality impact on food security. Climate change has resulted in diminished production and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has increased food shortages and inflated living costs, particularly in Africa. It is not uncommon in developing countries for households to spend 50-75% of their income on food. Localising and increasing productivity through strengthened rural-urban linkages and introducing social safety nets are key to improving food security.
The climate crisis urgently calls to accelerate the shift towards renewable sources of energy. The current crisis in Ukraine also underscores the need to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons. The way cities are planned and managed has a profound impact on energy demand. Compact, well-planned and managed cities, with non-motorised mobility options, green public spaces and natural cooling/temperature regulation measures tend to have below national levels of energy consumption.
Cities as well as being key to driving sustainable development have an essential role in responding (mitigating and adapting) to global phenomena and trends. The need to achieve SDGs through local action goes hand-in-hand with the need to address these global phenomena through local action. We must therefore plan and manage our cities in a way that simultaneously accelerates the achievement of SDGs and responds to global megatrends. Cities must be healthy, sustainable and future-ready.
World Health Innovation Summit are pioneering innovative healthcare models that are focused on preventing disease while supporting economic growth.
Chapter 3: The World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) Platform for Sustainable Development.
From the Digital Economy to Knowledge in The Healthcare Sector.
Gareth Presch, Francesca Dal Mas, Daniele Piccolo, Maksim Sinik and Lorenzo Cobianchi.
One Health: Transformative Enterprises, Wellbeing and Education in the Knowledge Economy
Piero Formica Maynooth University, Ireland
Chapter 6. The transformative enterprise: World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) platform for sustainable development; Gareth Presch
*The Annual Investment Meeting UAE 2023 - paradigm shift in investment (WHIS)
"If we get Health right, everything else will follow. That in a nutshell is the future of economic, social and environmental policy. Nothing complicated, just plain old common sense. It's about one big organising idea, setting priorities and following through. All good things,
Gareth Presch, Founder, CEO World Health Innvation Summit
Unit 1, The Old Warehouse, Lorne Crescent, Carlisle, England, CA2 5XW
09:00 – 17:00