Healthy-Polis: A global initiative to instigate a clean air, low carbon transition towards healthier and more sustainable cities [PCW-9]

Leader: Sotiris Vardoulakis, Institute of Occupational Medicine
27 November 2018 | 08.30am to 12.30pm

To book email: Richard Hart.


There is an urgent need to reduce Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and premature mortality from air pollution, projected to double by 2050 in low- and middle- income countries due to population growth and increases in urban air pollution. A clean air, low carbon transition in rapidly growing cities can deliver substantial public health, environmental, and socioeconomic benefits, by lowering emissions from the most polluting sectors, and reducing personal exposure to air pollution. Making cities more walkable and cycle friendly, improving public transport, and making clean household fuels and technologies more widely available will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent NCDs through better respiratory, cardiovascular and mental health.

The specific objectives of the Healthy-Polis workshop are to:

  1. Evaluate and promote urban policies and interventions aiming to improve air quality and provide multiple health co-benefits, particularly focusing on low- and middle- income countries.
  2. Discuss innovation in urban health and environmental sustainability research and practice, focusing on the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
  3. Provide a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration on urban environmental health and sustainability, particularly focussing on cross-sectoral, cross-city interactions between the global North and South.

In particular, this interactive workshop will address the ICUH conference theme of Governance of Complex Systems and the importance of different actors in promoting low carbon urban development and effective clean air interventions.

Prof. Sotiris Vardoulakis, Professor and Director of Research, Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), UK.
Prof. Stuart Piketh, Professor and Director of the School of Geo- and Spatial Science, Unit for Environmental Science and Management, North-West University (NWU), South Africa.
Dr. Esther Buregyeya, Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health at Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda.
Samuel Etajak, Research Fellow at Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda. 

Workshop Program:
8:30 – 8:50 Registration
8:50 – 9:00 Opening and welcome
9:00 – 9:15 The Healthy-Polis initiative: strengthening urban environmental health research and practice in sub-Saharan Africa. Prof Sotiris Vardoulakis, Research Director, IOM, UK.
9:15 – 9:30 Interventions and innovation for climate change mitigation – experiences from Kampala (tbc). Mr Sadam Yiga Kiwanuka, Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda.
9:30 – 9:45 Air Quality Monitoring and Health in Uganda: Experiences from the Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub. Prof Lynn Atuyambe / Samuel Etajak, Dept. of Community Health & Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, Makerere University, Uganda.
9:45 – 10:00 Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) overview: Increasing access to clean energy. Mary Susan Abbo, Managing Director, CREEC, Uganda.
10:00 – 10:15 Understanding the impact of domestic solid fuel combustion on air quality and health in South African Townships. Prof Stuart Piketh, North-West University, SA.
10:15 – 10:30 Coffee break
10:30 – 11:30 Moderated panel discussion
11:30 – 12:20 Group discussion and feedback
12:20 – 12:30 Concluding remarks – Lynn Atuyambe, Stuart Piketh, Sotiris Vardoulakis
12:30 – 13:00 Lunch (provided) – networking

Panel Participants:
Dr Daniel Okello, Director of Public Health and Environment, Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda. (tbc)
Dr Esther Buregyeya, Chair of the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Makerere University, Uganda.
Dr Bruce Kirenga, Senior Lecturer and Director of Makerere University Lung Institute, Uganda. (tbc)
Prof Blessing Mberu, Head of Urbanization and Wellbeing Research Program, African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya.
Prof Thomas Krafft, IGU Commission on Health and Environment, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
Prof Lidia Morawska, Director, International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

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Supporting Publication
Global Food Security
IF: 7.2 | CiteScore 7.3
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