Why is specific attention needed to urban health from the view of public health? Urban populations are characterised by a large diversity in social economic status, cultural and ethnic background, family constitution and sexual orientation. Specific vulnerable groups like migrant populations, homeless people and drug users are clearly overrepresented in urban populations. This diversity translates into diverse health problems of an increasing urban population with rapid movement in and out of the urban area. Therefore, there needs to be specific approaches for health promotion, care, treatment and cure to ensure health gain of the urban population.
The general aims of the new section are in line with the EUPHA objectives focusing on urban health:
- To promote and strengthen public health research in Europe.
- To improve communication between urban policy makers, researchers and practitioners.
- To provide a platform for the exchanges information, information and experience at urban level and to encourage and promote effective research in the field of urban public health work.
We will augment and integrate with other sections on deciding specific needs and actions at urban level, on health promotion, food and nutrition, migrant health, infectious disease control, public health epidemiology and policy making. We will also have a number of activities and experts interested in public health service research, public health practice and policy.
The specific objectives of the Urban Health section are:
- To establish a vibrant and active forum for public health experts to discuss urban health research together with health promotion and health protection issues.
- To prioritise issues important for improving urban health and reducing inequalities.
- To utilise existing data to help to improve urban health and develop new methods of data collection in line with EU policy for the EURO-URHIS 2 project.
- To form an “European Urban Health Knowledge Centre”.
- To link with other international organisation interested in urban health.
- To start to build infrastructure to help understand urban health issues.
- To stimulate and encourage research in all aspects of urban health.
- To encourage teaching and training of undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral students in the field of urban public health.
- To act in an advisory capacity for policy statements and papers to influence policy makers and politicians in line with EUPHA objectives.
- To evaluate the success of the section in 24 months.
Many of our members are active leaders/contributors to other sections and we would hope to network to push forward the agenda and objectives of EUPHA and the Urban Health Section.