The Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 Global Leadership Series welcomed city leaders to regular webinars which included: briefings on the latest science on COVID-19, in-depth technical guidance, and a platform for exchanging experiences.
Webinars in the series followed two distinct tracks: weekly sessions on Tuesdays for city mayors and high-level executives, and sessions on Thursdays for COVID-19 city responders. On this page you will find related materials for both, and recorded sessions from the COVID-19 city responder track.
Two new series launched in June-July 2020:
Leading Through Crisis: Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 in Latin America and Africa is a collaboration between the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and the Partnership for Healthy Cities. This six-part virtual learning series features faculty from Harvard University and other leading experts providing up-to-date health information, science-based guidance and crisis leadership training. Mayors of leading cities in Latin America and Africa are eligible to participate.
The COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series brings together small groups of cities in the Partnership to share priorities, strategies, lessons learned and challenges around specific areas of the pandemic response.
Disclaimer: The science around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and the situation reports and science briefs presented in the webinars below are not the most current. Viewers should be sure to consult the weekly science reviews in our Library for the most up-to-date evidence on COVID-19.
Latin American cities in the Partnership for Healthy Cities global network are sharing urban COVID-19 strategies with each other in a series of three technical exchanges that started February 25 with a look at vaccination distribution in the region. The 11 cities joining the session also heard from PAHO immunization expert Dr. Cuauhtémoc Ruiz, who touted the region’s vaccination successes of the past and emphasized the importance of planning.
In the second session on March 11, 12 cities traded lessons learned about the best ways to collect and use data to get infection rates down, such as building public-facing dashboards that both guide decision-making and keep residents informed.
The series ended on March 25 with 12 cities joining a discussion about how to maintain public adherence to public health and social measures. Features speakers included Montevideo Intendent Carolina Cosse.
Technical Exchange: Vaccination and Testing (February 25, 2021)
Technical Exchange: Surveillance Systems and Data Analysis for Decision-making (March 11, 2021)
Technical Exchange: Adherence to Public Health and Social Measures (March 25, 2021)
COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of daily life, and transportation is no exception, especially in cities that rely on mass transit. Urban mass transit systems facilitate the efficient movement of large numbers of people through limited street space, unlocking affordable access to livelihoods, schools, health services, food and recreation, and fueling the physical, social and economic health of people and communities. The pandemic has nevertheless prompted a rapid movement away from the use of mass transit worldwide, where physical distancing can be especially challenging to practice. Despite concerns, recent research and evidence from cities offers no clear evidence that mass transit is a major driver of COVID-19 infections.
Taking a public health approach to ensure safe and resilient mobility systems during the COVID-19 era, transit leaders from Mexico City, Istanbul, Accra, and ten other cities in the Partnership convened with mobility and public health experts to discuss: health intelligence related to transit ridership and infection rates, maintaining essential transportation services for urban residents and new ways of communicating with both riders and operators.
Representatives from six cities across Europe and the Americas—Athens, Birmingham, Helsinki, Philadelphia, Sao Paulo and Vancouver—convened for a session in the COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series on targeted communications for vulnerable, higher risk residents. Participants shared experiences, strategies and good practices for delivering public health messaging with communities whose needs go beyond typical outreach efforts, whether because of language barrier, disability or because of challenging circumstances like homelessness or substance abuse.
The COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series continued the conversation about risk communication with ten African cities. Participants shared strategies and lessons learned around shifting their communication strategies as the pandemic risk evolves, as well as campaign tactics to encourage adherence to public health and social measures (PHSMs). Particularly in high-risk areas such as public transit and markets, the city COVID-19 responders agreed that campaigns can play a critical role in maintaining services while keeping virus transmission low.
COVID-19 responders from eight cities in the Americas—Cali, Guadalajara, León, Lima, Philadelphia, Quito, Santiago and Santo Domingo—convened for an important session of the PHC City Technical Exchange Series, to discuss strategies for effective communications campaigns during the pandemic. Participants took a critical look at the full lifecycle of a campaign, from planning and design, through to implementation and evaluation. A number of campaign strategies have proven successful in the region, including: engaging community influencers, graphic billboards and family-focused messaging.
In the third session of the COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series, four Asian cities in the Partnership network discussed Challenges and Opportunities for Tobacco Control Policy and Enforcement in the Context of COVID-19. The cities shared strategies, lessons learned, challenges and opportunities for adapting tobacco control work to the special context posed by the pandemic.
In this second session of the COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series, five African cities shared strategies, lessons learned and challenges for urban COVID-19 surveillance systems. The exchange placed a special focus on the use of data to inform local decision-making, including data needed to clearly assess and communicate changing levels of risk, and to drive recommendations for adjusting public health and social measures. The experience using syndromic and mortality surveillance to establish epidemic alert levels in Goiania, Brazil was shared; the subsequent peer-to-peer discussion surfaced the creative ways in which cities across the continent are using data to address their unique challenges with COVID-19. Overall, epidemic response leads in Accra, Harare, Kampala, Kumasi, and Freetown agreed that enhanced surveillance systems are helping urban leaders in Africa save lives.
In this first session of the COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series, five Latin American cities shared strategies for modified mobility strategies. Discussions focused on rapid scaling up of bike lanes and bike use as an alternative and multimodal form of transportation, and to safely meet growing demand during the pandemic. The session was co-hosted by World Resources Institute.
This week’s webinar convened 60 technical leads and other colleagues from 28 cities to discuss protections for vulnerable populations throughout all stages of the pandemic. Technical experts guided cities’ public health teams on enhancing public health services for migrant, homeless, incarcerated and other particularly susceptible populations, with a spotlight on London, United Kingdom.
Executives and representatives from 23 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss safely loosening physical distancing measures, and the array of indicators and considerations which would inform a city’s strategy. The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, USA and Rosy Senanayake of Colombo, Sri Lanka shared updates from their cities, the need to support vulnerable populations through deep community engagement, and the benefits of coordinating local and national response where possible.
Public health and social measures (PHSMs) that promote physical distancing have proven to be our most effective tool yet against COVID-19. They nevertheless carry a high social and economic burden. This week’s webinar convened 67 technical leads and other colleagues from 26 cities to discuss the conditions required to safely ease PHSMs in cities.Resources:
Executives and representatives from 26 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss a human rights approach to enacting and enforcing public health and safety measures (PHSMs). The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Josefina Belmonte of Quezon City, Philippines and Soham El Wardini of Dakar, Senegal shared updates from their cities and the need for an evolving legal response throughout the pandemic.
This week’s webinar convened 121 technical leads and other colleagues from 57 cities to discuss the challenges of and tools for implementing public health and social measures during the COVID-19, and the importance of an agile legal system that can quickly respond to changing circumstances. A spotlight on Lagos, Nigeria provided further insight about how these principles can be applied in practice.
Executives and representatives from 20 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss the pillars of a successful crisis response and to review risk communications principles and tools. The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Mohammed Adjei Sowah of Accra, Ghana and Jan Vappavuori of Helsinki, Finland shared updates from their cities and the power of open communication during this public health emergency.
This week’s webinar convened 122 technical leads from 24 cities to review key risk communications techniques and discuss community engagement around COVID-19. City spotlights from technical leads in Amman, Jordan and Montevideo, Uruguay showcased these principles in action.
Executives and representatives from 24 cities worldwide joined the inaugural Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 webinar series for mayors. The virtual convening provided city leaders with guidance on how to implement best-practice interventions such as physical distancing measures, in ways that are appropriate to each locations, effective in gaining acceptance from the community and which minimize social and economic impacts.
The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies among mayors. Participants heard the experience of Freetown, Sierra Leone—a city whose executive leadership acted quickly to address the COVID-19 threat.
This week’s webinar convened 192 technical leads from 31 cities to discuss the COVID-19 Adaptive Response framework, or guidance for deciding when and how to implement public health social measures (PHSMs) such as physical distancing on the city level.
Con el COVID-19 extendiéndose rápidamente por todo el mundo, las ciudades se encuentran al frente de la respuesta a esta crisis de salud pública sin precedentes. La Alianza de Ciudades Saludables se afianza en las relaciones ya existentes con los líderes de las ciudades para dar apoyo a su respuesta al COVID-19 con estrategias basadas en evidencia.
Más de 44 líderes y personal técnico de 13 ciudades se unieron al seminario web inaugural sobre la Respuesta al COVID-19 por parte de la Alianza, para revisar los elementos fundamentales de la preparación y respuesta ante epidemias, recibir un informe científico sobre el COVID-19 y aprender sobre la asistencia técnica disponible para las ciudades de la Alianza.
With COVID-19 spreading rapidly around the globe, cities are at the forefront of the response to this unprecedented public health crisis. The Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC) is building on existing relationships with city leaders to support their COVID-19 response with evidence-based strategies.
More than 65 leaders and technical staff from 31 cities joined the inaugural PHC COVID-19 Response Webinar to review the fundamentals of epidemic preparedness and response, receive a COVID science briefing, and find out about the technical assistance available to cities in the Partnership.