The announcement was made on World Cities Day, 2023.
31 October 2023 (New York, NY)—Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today, in recognition of World Cities Day, that three new cities have joined the Partnership for Healthy Cities network: Nairobi, Kenya; New York City, United States; and Osaka, Japan. This network, now comprising 73 cities, supports mayors implementing proven, high-impact interventions to reduce noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries – which are responsible for over 80% of all deaths globally – in their communities. NCDs include heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer.
Launched in 2017 as part of Michael R. Bloomberg’s role as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Partnership for Healthy Cities is a collaboration with WHO and Vital Strategies, a global health organization. The Partnership supports cities in strengthening public health policies in several areas, including tobacco control, food policy, road safety, surveillance and overdose prevention.
“Through the Partnership for Healthy Cities, local leaders around the world are helping improve public health and save lives – and today, we are glad to welcome three new members: Nairobi, New York City and Osaka,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. “These cities and their mayors have shown they are committed to implementing policies that protect the health and safety of millions of people, and our team is looking forward to supporting their work – and helping spread it around the world."
Partnership members select from one of 14 interventions proven to prevent NCDs and injuries. These measures address tobacco control, road safety, safe and active mobility, healthy food, data surveillance, or overdose prevention. City staff are provided technical assistance, communications support, grants, workshops, and access to in-person and virtual peer-to-peer exchanges that support collaboration and sharing of lessons learned about areas of urban health and safety.
“WHO welcomes Nairobi, New York City and Osaka – three of the world’s biggest cities – to the ever-expanding partnership and commends their mayors for their commitment to building urban environments that nurture health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We look forward to supporting all three cities to implement evidence-based and cost-effective solutions to promote health and prevent noncommunicable disease and injuries.”
“Cities have long served as drivers of improved public health,” said José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies. “We applaud the efforts of city leaders working to create healthier and stronger urban centers where residents can thrive. We welcome the new cities to the Partnership and are eager to support their efforts creating systemic, lasting change improving health around the world.”
“Effective noncommunicable disease prevention and control calls for a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach,” said H.E. Hon. Sakaja Arthur Johnson, Governor of Nairobi City County. “Working with Bloomberg Philanthropies will greatly contribute to better collaboration with state and non-state actors to reduce the rising burden and incidence of NCDs and improve the quality of care for those who develop NCDs in Nairobi, Kenya.”
“We’ll continue to be a leader in the prevention of injuries and diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Yet we never give up the hunger to learn and grow. Every good model starts somewhere, and we are as eager to implement successful efforts from other cities as we are to innovate in our own.”
“Osaka Prefecture is very proud to be joining the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities that aims to save lives by reducing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries,” said The Honorable Hirofumi Yoshimura, Governor of Osaka Prefecture. “Osaka Prefecture is implementing various cancer countermeasures, including increasing the rate of receiving cancer screenings. By participating in this partnership and sharing knowledge with other cities in the network, we hope to further develop our efforts and contribute to the promotion of cancer control around the world.”
Important strides made by partner cities already in the network toward their health and safety goals include:
Athens, Greece increasing access to the opioid overdose reversal agent, naloxone, at community-based organizations and among healthcare professionals
Bengaluru, India reducing smoking in public places and improving compliance with existing mandates on public smoking bans
Mexico City, Mexico improving road safety by launching a bike path on a busy road that led to a 275% increase in cyclists, implementing a shared lane for cyclists and buses separate from cars, and optimizing design and management of roads close to schools
Montevideo, Uruguay establishing nutritional standards for the preparation and sale of food in government agency offices and some public universities
Vancouver, Canada making public health data more inclusive and accessible by launching an online public health data tool that tracks population health indicators
Quezon City, the Philippines introducing an ordinance that will require food establishments to include nutritional information on their menus in an effort to prevent NCDs
The 70 cities continuing their membership in the Partnership for Healthy Cities are: Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Ahmedabad, Amman, Athens, Bandung, Bangkok, Barcelona, Bengaluru, Birmingham, Bogotá, Boston, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Cali, Cape Town, Casablanca, Chicago, Colombo, Córdoba, Dakar, Dhaka, Dublin, Fortaleza, Freetown, Greater Manchester, Guadalajara, Hanoi, Harare, Helsinki, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kampala, Kathmandu, Kigali, Kuala Lumpur, Kumasi, Kyiv, León, Lima, London, Lusaka, Medellín, Melbourne, Mexico City, Montevideo, Mumbai, Muscat, Ouagadougou, Paris, Philadelphia, Phnom Penh, Quezon City, Quito, Rio De Janeiro, San Francisco, Santiago, Santo Domingo, São Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto, Tunis, Vancouver, Warsaw, and Yangon.
About the Partnership for Healthy Cities:
The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of 73 cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with World Health Organization and the global health organization Vital Strategies, the initiative enables cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCDs and injuries in their communities. For more information, visit cities4health.org
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed US$ 1.7 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About the World Health Organization:
Dedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, the World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance at a safe and healthy life. We are the UN agency for health that connects nations, partners and people on the front lines in 150+ locations – leading the world’s response to health emergencies, preventing disease, addressing the root causes of health issues and expanding access to medicines and health care. Our mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.
About Vital Strategies:
Vital Strategies believes every person should be protected by an equitable and effective public health system. We partner with governments, communities and organizations around the world to reimagine public health so that health is supported in all the places we live, work and play. The result is millions of people living longer, healthier lives. To learn more visit vitalstrategies.org or follow us @VitalStrat.