Patz takes livable cities work to Australia, China

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Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute, is an invited expert to the first International Council for Science meeting on urban health Dec. 9 and 10 in Xiamen, China.

“Health and Well-being in the Changing Urban Environment: A Systems Analysis Approach” is a decade-long initiative to generate “policy-relevant knowledge that will improve health status, reduce health inequalities and enhance the well-being of populations living in urban environment—which are undergoing continual change.” Researchers working in urban health will come together in the Xiamen Expert Workshop to define priorities and expected outcomes for the program.

Patz, who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and Ethiopia while on sabbatical, also joined the World Leaders’ Dialogue on Health and Well-being at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress 2014.

The forum closed Nov. 19 with “The Promise of Sydney (Australia),” a plan to safeguard natural areas across the globe, including halting rainforest loss in the Asia-Pacific, tripling ocean protection off Africa’s coast and planting 1.3 billion trees along the Silk Road.

The Congress, which meets once a decade, considered “Parks, People, Planet: Inspiring Solutions,” with an eye to ensuring that protected areas contribute to addressing challenges in sustainable development and sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources. Patz was also a presenter and presider in the “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” stream at the Congress. Participants explored the health benefits of parks, including mental, physical and spiritual well-being, medicines, disease regulation, livelihood support and places for physical activity.

By Ann Grauvogl/ Dec. 1, 2014

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