2010 World Health Day: “Urbanization and Health”
World Health Day (WHD) is celebrated on April 7th to mark the founding of the World Health Organization. Each year, the WHO selects a key global health issue and organizes international, regional and local events on the Day to highlight the selected theme. To ensure sustained action on this topic, WHD also marks the beginning of year-long related activities.
The theme of WHD for this year is “Urbanism and Healthy Living” (PAHO), and “Urbanization and Health” (WHO). In last year’s World Health Report, urbanization was cited as one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. Therefore, this theme has been selected in recognition of the effect urbanization has on our collective health, globally and for each of us individually. The main objective of WHD 2010 will be to integrate the day into a sustained public health strategy to incorporate health more broadly into urban public policy.
Apart from World Health Day, a number of events around the globe will take place in 2010 to mark the theme of Urbanization and Health. These will include:
- UN Habitat’s World Urban Youth Assembly (March 19-20) and World Urban Forum – 5 (March 22-26) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- The World Expo (May1-October 31) on the theme “Better City, Better Life” in Shanghai, China
- Production of a WHO/UN Habitat Global Report on Urbanization and Health (July/August)
- PAHO Directing Council’s Urban Health Round Table (September)
- The WHO Global Forum on Health and Urbanization (November 15-17) in Kobe, Japan
‘1000 Cities, 1000 Lives’ is a global campaign designed to encourage cities, towns, neighborhoods and local authorities to conduct health promoting activities on or around WHD (the week of April 7-11).
The goal of the ‘1000 Cities’ campaign is to open public spaces to health, either by closing off portions of streets to motorized vehicles and opening them up to people, holding town hall meetings and community forums, promoting more active civil society participation in local planning and governance, initiating clean-up campaigns, and conducting work-place and school-based initiatives.
The goal of the ‘1000 Lives’ campaign is to collect 1000 stories of “urban health champions,” i.e. people who have taken actions that have resulted in a significant impact on health in their cities. Individuals are encouraged to submit both examples of the events they are planning to run in their cities, towns or neighbourhoods, and videos about those they nominate to be urban health champions.
You can follow the campaign and learn more about WHD by visiting this site:
This website also includes a more detailed list of suggested activities for WHD and a Toolkit for Event Organizers. To officially register the event being held by your city, municipality, town or neighbourhood for WHD, please visit: