Improving Urban Health around the World

More than one half of the world’s population currently lives in cities. Over the next two decades the number is expected to rise to 60 percent. The Academy is committed to advancing global urban health and sharing lessons learned through our New York City and national initiatives. We serve as technical advisors to international organizations and cities around the world in the areas of urban health and creating age-friendly Cities.

The International Society for Urban Health (ISUH)

The International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) was founded by the Academy as a forum to encourage global collaboration among researchers, scholars, and practitioners interested in the health effects of urban environments and urbanization. Academy staff are sought-after speakers and consultants on the global stage addressing critical issues of health in urban environments such as healthy aging and effective governance for health. The Academy also serves as the society's Secretariat. More information is available at the ISUH website.

The ISUH organizes the annual International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH), which brings together government officials, city planners, researchers, policy experts, and civil society leaders from around the world to address global urban health issues. The Academy hosted ICUH 2010, which focused on good governance for healthy cities, with special interest in the positive consequences of urban health interventions.  The conference "Urban Health for a Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Agenda" (ICUH 2015), was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

12th International Conference on Urban Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 2015.    Left to Right: Anthony Kolb; Godelieve van Heteren, MD; Yonette Thomas, PhD; Alex Asakitikpi, PhD; Jo Ivey Boufford, MD
12th International Conference on Urban Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 2015. Left to Right: Anthony Kolb; Godelieve van Heteren, MD; Yonette Thomas, PhD; Alex Asakitikpi, PhD; Jo Ivey Boufford, MD
Urban Health in Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges conference, September 2015.  Left to right: Prof. Dr. AFM Ruhal Haque, Elliott D. Sclar, PhD; Natalia Linos, ScD; Angel Mendoza, MD; Jane Thomason, MPH, PhD
Urban Health in Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges conference, September 2015. Left to right: Prof. Dr. AFM Ruhal Haque, Elliott D. Sclar, PhD; Natalia Linos, ScD; Angel Mendoza, MD; Jane Thomason, MPH, PhD
A group of 18 delegates from Departments of Health and Centers for Disease Control in the Xinjiang Province of China visited The New York Academy of Medicine as a part of their "learning trip in the US" in November, 2015
A group of 18 delegates from Departments of Health and Centers for Disease Control in the Xinjiang Province of China visited The New York Academy of Medicine as a part of their "learning trip in the US" in November, 2015
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Expert Advisors on Urban Health and Age-friendly Cities

As a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Aging, Globalization and Urbanization, the Academy provides the WHO and its partners with technical assistance and helps to implement WHO programs for older adults throughout the world. The Academy has also served on the advisory group of the WHO Kobe Centre in Japan—the authors of the 2010 Global Urban Health Report—and as expert advisors to regional WHO offices in the Americas, Europe, and Western Pacific regions. Additionally, the Academy is a collaborating center with the International Centre for Policies on Aging in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Conducting Innovative Global Urban Health Research

Academy President Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, and Dr. Francis Omaswa of Uganda recently completed a year-long Rockefeller Foundation-funded study of the needs and challenges of ministers of health around the world as they seek to strengthen health systems to improve the health of their people. The report, Strong Ministries for Strong Health Systems, was launched at the 2010 World Health Assembly in Geneva to excellent response. They followed up the report with a Handbook for Ministers, released in 2014.

Download the Handbook

Learn more about ISUH