Global coalition recognises Mexico City’s work on streets around schools

By Gobierno CDMX - IMG_5982, CC0,

Mexico City’s efforts to improve the design and management of routes to and from school for children have been recognised at the inaugural Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit.

It was one of five cities commended for its work to improve public health, and protect the health and wellbeing of citizens living in urban settings around the world.

Set up in 2017, the Partnership for Healthy Cities is a collaboration of 70 cities, all of whom were invited to work towards addressing a particular problem important to local people. It is supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies charitable organisation, along with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, a public health campaigning body.

‘Addressing a particular problem’

Organisers say this summit in London was about highlighting best practices and proven interventions, which is especially important as public health is at risk of becoming less of a priority three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mexico City has been recognised for improving road safety and safe and active mobility, and its work has included launching a bike path on a busy road that led to a 275 per cent increase in cyclists. It also improve the design and management of roads close to schools, and implementing a shared lane for cyclists.

As one of five winning cities, Mexico City will receiving US$150,000 to further its work with the partnership.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th mayor of New York City, : “Noncommunicable diseases and injuries pose the number-one threat to global public health. Mayors worldwide are increasingly uniting to confront it, and the Partnership for Healthy Cities will continue to support their urgent and lifesaving work.

“Our network’s first-ever summit showcased the best of local public health leadership, and given the gains achieved by our inaugural award winners, we expect even more leaders will follow in their footsteps as they create healthier, more vibrant cities.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, added: “The five cities being recognized today demonstrate that mayors can drive powerful progress to protect the health of their citizens. WHO remains committed to working through the Partnership for Healthy Cities to support mayors around the world to build cities that promote and protect health, rather than harm it.”

‘We expect leaders to follow in their footsteps’

Athens, Bengaluru, Montevideo and Vancouver were the other winners, and were recognised for work in areas such as tobacco controls, food standards and public health data tracking processes.

“Cities are places where health can be produced or compromised,” said José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies. “We applaud the work of urban leaders around the globe in their efforts to create healthier, stronger and more equitable cities. We are eager to continue our work supporting cities with the tools and resources needed to bring proven solutions that prevent noncommunicable diseases and injuries to fruition.”

In 2021, the partnership launched the Policy Accelerator to support an initial cohort of 15 cities in the network to create and adopt strong public health policies and to institutionalize development processes for future policy. A second cohort of cities are also set to be announced.

Click here for more on the summit and the partnership.

Author: Simon Weedy

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