Bloomberg Launches Worldwide Urban Public Health Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $5 million grant to launch the Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC), an initiative focused on fighting noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries globally.

With the active participation of forty cities around the world, the initiative will work to reduce NCDs — including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases — which are responsible for 67 percent of the deaths in low- and middle-income countries, as well as often-ignored killers such as motor vehicle accidents, which kill 44 million people globally each year. Because the majority of the world’s population lives in urban settings, mayors of big cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against NCDs and injuries by implementing evidence-based policies that reduce exposure to risk factors, improve the health of citizens, and enable cities to thrive. The adoption of such policies also will help many countries make progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal #3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all) and Goal #11 (Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).

Over the next eighteen months, the participating cities will work with technical experts, including the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that partners with experts and NGOs to build and strengthen public health systems, to implement one of ten evidence-based policy interventions. Bloomberg will provide seed grants as well as advice and help from public health experts to cities participating in the initiative and facilitate access to a global network of mayors committed to forging collaborations and sharing best practices and lessons learned.

The participating cities include Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethopia), Ahmedabad (India), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan), Bandung (Indonesia), Bangalore (India), Bogotá (Colombia), Boston (United States), Cali (Colombia), Cape Town (South Africa), Chicago (United States), Dhaka (Senegal), Fortaleza (Brazil), Guadalajara (Mexico), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kampala (Uganda), Kathmandu (Nepal), Kiev (Ukraine), Kuala Lumpur (Malayasia), León (Spain), London (England), Medellín (Colombia), Melbourne (Australia), Mexico City (Mexico), Montevideo (Uruguay), Mumbai (India), Philadelphia (United States), Quezon City (Philippines), Quito (Equador), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), San Francisco (United States), Santiago (Chile), São Paulo (Brazil), Seoul (South Korea), Shanghai (China), Tianjin (China), Toronto (Canada), and Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia). Additional cities will be announced in the coming months.

"Injuries and noncommunicable diseases are responsible for eight in ten deaths globally, but small changes at the community level can save many of those lives," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who also serves as WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. "The Partnership for Healthy Cities unites cities whose mayors are committed to healthier lives for their citizens and to leading the charge globally to reduce NCDs and injuries. The actions of these mayors can prevent millions of needless deaths and protect the health of generations to come, while making our cities more prosperous."