HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

HealthBridge working on the urban agenda for Habitat 3

In October 2016, countries from around the world gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for the United Nations’ Habitat III Summit on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. There they agreed on the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the United Nations’ policy framework document that will inform urban development around the world for the next two decades.

Habitat III was a unique chance to advocate for livable and healthy cities, and HealthBridge was there! Our Livable Cities team and its partners were active participants in the Habitat III preparation process, focusing on encouraging the inclusion of strong, positive language about the importance of public spaces, including streets for walking and cycling, local public markets and open public spaces.

But the NUA was just a starting point for making our cities healthier, cleaner, safer and more sustainable.  The real work, to #ActOnNUA, began after the Agenda was adopted. In 2017, HealthBridge and partners in Africa took a major step by launching the project Creating great public spaces in three African cities. Read more about the new project, and learn more, below, about our Livable Cities work at Habitat III, and beyond.

READ: Public Spaces: A key tool to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Public spaces, including streets, local public markets, parks, squares, and beaches, are vital elements of livable, healthy and sustainable cities.  Public spaces have the potential to contribute to a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including:

Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3)
Gender Equality (SDG 5)
Decent Work (SDG 8)
Climate Change (SDG 13)

This document highlights the impact that public spaces can have on the health and wellbeing of city dwellers, and explains the links to specific SDGs.

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HealthBridge Public Spaces Case Studies

HealthBridge and our local partners in low and middle-income countries are working on many public spaces projects and are ready to support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.  The following are some case study examples:


Healthbridge Key Messages for Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda