The New York Academy of Medicine advances solutions that promote the health
and well-being of people in cities worldwide. We do this through our
Institute for Urban Health,
our world class historical Library of medicine
and public health, and our Fellows
network of more than 2,000 experts.
Cities are the main drivers of national development and present opportunities to transform a nation’s health. If well managed, cities can be engines of development for national economies, hubs for technological innovation and centers of positive social progress.
Opportunities for healthy and sustainable urbanization:
Implement evidence-based programs at the local level and scale them to reduce disease prevalence and incidence
Develop public-private solutions to create integrated health and social services that are high quality and affordable
Increase opportunities for pioneering solutions in alternative energy
Promote innovative policies that change the built environment to promote health and minimize risk of violence and injury
Support advocacy efforts that encourage good governance, allowing all sectors to come together to enhance access to healthy foods, clean water, sanitation, and social engagement
Educate and train global leaders in evidence-based and locally relevant solutions to minimize inequities in opportunities.
The availability of adequate sanitation infrastructure, and the management of building density, green space, and transport design can improve the urban conditions that help people live healthy lives.
Good health is linked to economic development and cities are the engine of economic activity, with urban-based economic activities accounting for up to 55% of gross national product (GNP) in low-income countries, 73% in middle-income countries and 85% in
Because of population density, cities can offer better access to high-quality, affordable health care and human services.
Health and community cohesion are inextricably linked. In more cohesive communities, there is less social isolation, and higher levels of community engagement in decision making and more inclusive governance can be promoted.
Access to adequate, affordable, and safe housing attracts economic investment, a diverse workforce, and increases levels of social and economic development and sense of community.
Communities with walkable, bikeable streets and effective use of mass transit promote physical health, reduce pedestrian accidents, and lower air pollution.
incentives for increased access to educational resources, critical to national development; for every additional year of education for women of reproductive age, child mortality decreases by almost 10%.
Effective urban planning is about creating healthy, equitable, and sustainable cities with aesthetic elements that promote physical and mental health and well-being.
Strong, effective governance is critical to urban health, with political leadership committed to assessing the health risks and benefits of policies, programs, and investments across all sectors.