The USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project aims to refocus city policies, planning, and services with a health equity lens while improving data-driven decision making for Smart Cities in India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Vietnam. Planning for a Smart City is intrinsically linked to health: transportation, the environment, sanitation, education, recreation, technology, and the built environment all influence the health of an urban population. When decision making across these areas is harmonized, people will benefit from improved access to health services, decreased environmental and lifestyle risk factors for chronic diseases, a lower burden of infectious diseases, and an increased availability of useful data for decision-making.
Building Healthy Cities works in partnership with Smart Cities initiatives and urban health coordination structures to achieve health goals and improve metrics in infrastructure and information and communication technology (ICT) projects, enhance interoperability of data systems, and increase efficiency of multisector urban spending. In addition, Building Healthy Cities can help Smart City citizens of every demographic have a voice in the process through integration of a mobile citizen reporting system. Our goal is to ensure health is appropriately accounted for within the Smart City context, reduce time and costs of producing data that can influence policy decisions, and empower citizens to demand better health-related services.
Building Healthy Cities works to lead:
- Increased partnership between sectors and with health actors in the private sector
- A multi-sector, data-driven management model established in each city
- More equitable representation of vulnerable populations
- Increased healthy lifestyle-related projects funded by Smart City initiatives
- Increased demand for healthy city environments among vulnerable populations
- Demonstrated replicability and acceptability of the Building Healthy Cities approach
- Creation and use of knowledge-transfer tools to support scale up in additional cities
- Estimations of the impact of these activities on urban health outcomes