Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland has announced that Dublin has joined the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a prestigious global network of 70 cities committed to saving lives by preventing non-communicable diseases and injuries.
Dublin City Council (DCC) will continue to work toward transforming the streets and footpaths of the city to support active mobility as part of Dublin’s commitment to this initiative.
DCC’s particular policy objective, Safe and Active Mobility, seeks to enhance public mobility across the city by developing a new, inclusive emphasis on walking in our city. DCC have started to develop ‘walkability audits’ for our city with a consciousness on mobility from a senior citizen perspective. They are also incorporating into their work, a review of public seating and public realm that can aid and support mobility.
The Council are actively increasing cycle infrastructure with 20km of new cycle lanes introduced this year. They have also invested in cycle tri-shaws for use by their less mobile citizens. They have also reviewed their road speed limits with a view to enhancing road safety.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland, speaking about the partnership stated, “Dublin City Council is very excited about participating in this international partnership over the next four years. The health of those who live, work and recreate in our city is very important to us. As a Local Authority we will strive to improve safe and active mobility across our city, particularly for our less mobile and disabled citizens.”
“We live in an increasingly connected global world and networks like these are very important in helping us all learn from one another. Here in Dublin we have been working hard to promote active mobility by increasing facilities for cyclists and introducing school zones and cycle buses, as well as pedestrianising some of our city centre streets. I look forward to seeing how Dublin can continue to develop further initiatives like these as part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities.”
Throughout the pandemic, cities in the global network have deployed remarkable efforts to control the virus while also mitigating its uneven social and economic impacts. Because people living with NCDs are at higher risk for the most severe COVID-19 complications, the Partnership’s core prevention mission is proving more important than ever. Non-communicable diseases, together with injuries such as road traffic crashes, cause an estimated 80% of deaths across the globe each year.
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and WHO Global Ambassador for Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries, said, “through the Partnership for Healthy Cities, local leaders around the world have enacted key policies that are improving health and saving lives—and today, we’re glad to welcome six new members. These cities and their mayors are committed to implementing programs and policies that improve the health and safety of millions of people. We look forward to supporting their work and replicating the most effective efforts around the world.”
The burden of preventable deaths caused by NCDs and injuries on populations around the world remains a crisis upon a pandemic. Only 2% of development assistance for health addresses the challenge, and road traffic injuries already cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.
Progress is attainable: a framework to significantly reduce exposure to NCD and injury risk factors already exists—and can be swiftly implemented in urban areas. Through the Partnership, cities commit to one of 14 proven interventions, such as implementing smoke-free laws that protect residents from secondhand smoke, creating cycling routes safe for all road users, or restricting advertising for the sugary drinks and junk foods that negatively impact urban diets.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, said, “the health and well-being of billions of people depends to a large degree on the urban environments in which they live and work. WHO applauds Bloomberg Philanthropies’ leadership and ongoing support for the Partnership for Healthy Cities, as well the commitment of all the cities in the Partnership. We stand ready to support this important work for the next four years to create cities that nurture health, rather than harming it.”
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. With support from the Partnership, cities are already making an impact on the health and safety of their residents. For example, Bandung, Indonesia unveiled a new smoke-free law which prohibits smoking in seven types of public spaces and will protect the health of countless urban residents. In Latin America, four Partnership cities added 61.9 kilometers of new bike lanes during the pandemic alone—implemented not only to maintain safe and active travel during the global pandemic, but also to achieve long-term goals for safe, sustainable transport and urban mobility.
José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies, said, “cities have long served as drivers of public health, a distinction which holds even more importance as urban areas stand to absorb up to 68% of the world’s population by 2050. Although the heavy toll of NCDs and injuries remains a challenge, we celebrate the remarkable progress made by cities in the Partnership. Our global network is leading the way to make big, systemic changes to improve the health and safety of urban residents around the world.”
Source: Dublin City Council