Environment and health for European cities in the 21st century: making a difference

13–14 December 2016, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Representatives of cities and local authority networks, intergovernmental organizations and agencies and Member States will meet to build consensus on specific actions, commitments and initiatives that could be considered for the declaration of the upcoming Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health.

Main objective

The meeting will be an opportunity to:

  • review key environment and health issues in European cities and regions;
  • showcase examples of innovative policies and actions undertaken by European cities and local authorities;
  • identify possible mechanisms and areas for collaboration between European cities and local authorities, national governments and relevant international organizations within the framework of the European Environment and Health Process for consideration by the negotiators of the declaration of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health.

Background

At the final thematic preparatory meeting for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, to be held in 2017, the theme of environment and health for European cities has been identified as one of the new priorities for the European Environment and Health Process (EHP). The EHP is an international policy platform, which since 1989 has brought together the ministries of health and environment of the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region to address environment and health challenges through intersectoral policies.

With more than 80% of Europeans expected to live in urban areas by 2030, rapid ageing of the population and increasing migration, the urban environment is where different policies can be integrated and leveraged to promote and protect health and well-being from environmental threats. Urban settings represent a conglomeration of environmental and social pressures on health and environment, but also represent a set of recognized opportunities to improve and protect health and well-being.