Sunrise over downtown Vancouver

Vancouver becomes part of Global Network of Cities

Worldwide initiative now protects over 300 million people with proven strategies to improve public health

We’re proud to join this prominent group of cities working to ensure longer, fuller lives for their residents

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

December 13 2019 –

Vancouver is proud to announce that we have joined the Partnership for Healthy Cities , a prestigious global network of 70 cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) - such as cancer or diabetes - and injuries.

“We’re proud to join this prominent group of cities working to ensure longer, fuller lives for their residents,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “As part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, we’re sharing health, social, and environmental data across the municipality to guide and inform healthy public policy and programs that aim to address public health, determinants of health and health inequities.”

“Congratulations, Vancouver. The road to a healthier world runs through cities. Most of the world now lives in urban areas, and cities can rapidly implement meaningful policies,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Partnership for Healthy Cities unites mayors who are committed to action. With the Partnership’s expansion to 70 cities, collectively we are preventing millions of needless deaths from NCDs and injuries, and protecting the health of generations to come.

In Vancouver, Mayor Kennedy has committed to enhancing public health data and monitoring systems in order to create a centralized healthy city dashboard compiling a range of available health, social, and well-being data sets at the neighbourhood level by December 2020. 

Non-communicable diseases and injuries are responsible for 8 in 10 deaths globally. The additional cost per person to implement key NCD policies in low- and lower-middle-income cities between now and 2030 is just $1.27, while road traffic injuries already cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.

Through this Partnership, cities commit to one of 14 interventions that address the risk factors that cause NCDs and injuries, such as implementing smoke-free laws that protect residents from secondhand smoke, restricting sugary drink and junk food advertising, or creating safe urban cycling routes.

Changes around the world

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vital Strategies. It recognizes the critical role cities play in effectively implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent NCDs and injuries.

Partnership cities have made important strides to build healthier and safer environments. For example, Quito, Ecuador replaced junk food with healthy options for 50% of public schools students - expanding to 100% next year. In Accra, Ghana, a series of infrastructure changes at a major highway crossing with the highest rate of road crashes and fatalities in the city led to a nearly 35% reduction in serious injuries at the site.

“Around the world, cities are growing rapidly, and this presents significant new opportunities for action,” said Dr. Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director General of Universal Health Coverage/Healthier Populations at WHO. “The Partnership for Healthy Cities is showing how cities can play a key role in championing ways to tackle NCDs and injuries.”

José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies, said, “We are honored to implement this flagship urban public health initiative alongside Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Health Organization. Our team is actively collaborating with the Partnership cities and providing the necessary assistance to support progress in policies to combat NCDs and injuries. We view this work as core to our vision of strengthening health systems around the globe.”