BLOG SURF: Urban health

Over the past decades, living in cities has been associated with better health. Better access to goods, services and opportunities such as healthcare, education and employment provided an “urban health advantage” to city residents.

However, with rapid urbanization, in Asia the urban health advantage is actually becoming a disadvantage.

For poor people, access to quality health services and healthy living conditions remains challenging; this is reflected in worse mother and child health outcomes in South Asian cities compared to rural areas.

For wealthy and poor urban residents alike, the impacts of urban pollution and urban lifestyle is leading to a high burden of non-communicable diseases.

Poor air quality in particular has become a silent emergency of global significance, with only about 1 in 10 urban residents breathing clean air. The epidemics of obesity and non-communicable diseases are other public health emergencies.