Skip to content ↓
CEO Perspective

Spotlight: Cities Hold the Key to a Healthier Future

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and adults between the ages of 5 and 29 globally. In Kampala, Uganda, this project, supported by the Road Safety program, brought together community members and government officials to paint a new crosswalk near a school. (Photo: Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety) 

Cities are the engines of innovation, and we believe urban leaders, working alongside their communities, can help build a better post-pandemic future—one where access to health care and a healthy environment is not dependent on how much money you have, where you live or the color of your skin.  

At our recent VitalTalks event, Cities Hold the Key; Prioritizing Equity in the COVID-19 Recovery, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Intendant Carolina Cosse of Montevideo, both leaders of cities that are part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, shared lessons from the response, including mobilizing the most ambitious vaccine rollout in history. Mayor Lightfoot and Intendant Cosse also and discussed the need to develop public health solutions that are grounded in prevention, collaboration, communication and equity.  

What COVID-19 has made starkly clear is that if one person is vulnerable, we are all vulnerable. We must seize this opportunity—this moment when there is the public attention and the political will needed to strengthen health systems around the world, to protect us from the next epidemic and from the preventable and treatable conditions that have been with us for a long time, such as tuberculosis, diabetes, drug overdose and heart diseases.  

Guided by science and a commitment to fairness, we can follow the example of those cities that showed clear-eyed, courageous leadership during this pandemic. At Vital Strategies, we envision a world where everyone, everywhere is protected by a strong public health system.  

—José Luis Castro, President and CEO Vital Strategies

What to Watch

Cities Hold the Key: Prioritizing Equity in the COVID-19 Recovery 

Watch our latest VitalTalk with remarks from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries and explore our related work, research and resources. 

Expert Focus

Air Pollution: Why Focus on Cities?   

Urban Leadership In Response to COVID-19 Heralds a Healthier Future: Q&A with Ariella Rojhani 

How SCORE Can Improve Global Data Systems 

CEO Perspective

World Health Day Statement, April 7, 2021 

Reimagining Public Health (Health Policy Watch)  

Public Health Takes Center Stage  

Global Policy

Vital Strategies at SXSW: Decriminalize Drugs to Reduce Overdose Deaths and Build Racial Justice  

Case Studies from Cities on the Front Lines of a Healthier Future 

Winning Trust in the Age of COVID-19: Mayors Trade Real World Successes in Virtual Learning Series  

Vital Stories

Mobilizing Messages: How Cities are Communicating about COVID-19 

Building Back Better: 5 Ways We’re Centering Equity in Our Work 

Meet Seven Women Leading the Fight Against NCDs and Road Injuries in Their Cities  

Research and Resources

Partnership for Health Cities COVID-19 Response Center  

Toward Clean Air Jakarta: Improving Air Quality In Jakarta in the Near- and Long-Term  

Urban Health (Oxford University Press)