More than half of the planet's population lives in cities, and in developed countries, the percentage of the population living in urban areas exceeds 70-80%. This ultra-concentration of people and processes does more than lead to more effective resource use and offer access to medical infrastructure and essential services; it is also a risk to people’s health and well-being. Degenerative illnesses have become the main causes of death and handicap around the world. Ailments like psychological disorders, cancer, diabetes, and obesity have become the main threats to the residents of the largest urban areas – in other words, to a considerable portion of the world’s population. The complexity of solving the spread of non-infectious illnesses is tied to the fact that in the majority of cases, they cannot be directly healed; instead, they demand long-term lifestyle changes, which are themselves largely determined by living environments. In addition, as part of the agenda for stable development, megapolises have become the main drivers for change. Cities are becoming battlefields for people’s health and well-being, demanding a reconfiguration governmental systems and principles of urban planning. How do different cities and countries answer the health challenges connected with urban living? How should regulatory and legal structures change to helps governments refocus on the health of their citizens? On what principles should new regions and neighbourhoods be built, and what should be done with already-developed parts of the city?
Member of the Steering Committee of the Global Water Partner
Director of several projects of the World Health Organization, the World Bank
founder and director of Greenstone Design UK Ltd
American blog author of the book "The vertical farm - Feeding the World in the 21st Century"
Co founder and International Director One Planet Living, Bioregional.
Co-Founder, World Future Council
Minister of health of Kazakhstan