The world commemorates World Cities Day annually on October 31. The day is celebrated as an opportunity to promote sustainable urban development worldwide.

The World Cities Day 2023 focuses on the “increasing public investment to finance urban development.” More sustainable and innovative ways of financing health and wellbeing should be discovered with converging numerous global uncertainties.

According to the stats shared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 55 percent of the population of the world has been living in an urban setting.

The theme for World Cities Day 2023

The theme for 2023 is “Financing sustainable urban future for all,” which resonated with the efforts by the World Health Organisation to “provide strategic advice for urban health decision-making by Member States.”

To make cities healthier, money needs to be allocated from public budgets and other places. The WHO has released a set of policy briefs to help countries improve urban health by implementing better policies and practices.

World Cities Day 2023 focuses on financing sustainable urban futures | Credits: Google

The Governance and Financing give advice on how cities and national governments can make sure they have enough money to improve urban health. This means they should have different ways of getting money, like public budgets and other sources, and find ways to increase their budgets to meet the health needs of people in cities.

Launch of a second policy brief on October 31

The second policy brief was launched on October 31. The objective was to generate and work with evidence, noted the World Health Organisation.

“To take effective action on urban health, decision-makers need a full, clear picture of the state of health and wellbeing of their urban constituents. Robust evidence for urban health risk factors and impacts supports priority-setting, investment decisions, monitoring of policy and practice, and identifying emerging problems,” noted the WHO through its official website.

The data is studied, gathered and used to have this key evidence, helping in picking the right signs and setting up a useful system to measure things using various types of information from different places.

The World Health Organisation has further outlined that the remaining policy briefs on participation and partnership, as well as innovation, are expected to launch before the end of 2023.

“The new policy briefs will be relevant to many cities, including those in the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries,” noted WHO.

US pledges to work towards improvement of their inhabitants’ health

In 2023, on the occasion of World Cities Day – Nairobi, Kenya, New York, United States and Osaka, Japan will join the network to work towards the improvement of the health of their inhabitants.

The Health Organisation further stated, “As well as the Partnership for Healthy Cities, WHO’s initiative on urban governance for health and wellbeing promotes good local governance through civic engagement and multisectoral coordination in five cities, while the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities connects cities and communities to facilitate the exchange of information and experience, and in identifying evidence-based solutions to create age-friendly environments and the BreatheLife network provides a platform for cities to share best practices in meeting air quality targets.”

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Healthy Cities Conference

This year, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Healthy Cities Conference has been hosted by the World Health Organisation in Doha, Qatar. It is scheduled between October 31 and November 2.

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Healthy Cities Conference | Credits: WHO

The growing Healthy Cities Network in the region offers a chance for cities to work together in a coordinated way to improve urban health. They can exchange experiences benefiting the public health and well-being of the entire region.


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