A good investment: promoting health in cities and neighbourhoods

Elia Díez, Dory Aviñó, Joan J. Paredes-Carbonell, Javier Segura, Óscar Suárez, Maria Dolores Gerez, Anna Pérez, Ferran Daban, Lluís Camprubí

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Local administration is responsible for health-related areas, and evidence of the health impact of urban policies is available. Barriers and recommendations for the full implementation of health promotion in cities and neighbourhoods have been described. The barriers to the promotion of urban health are broad: the lack of leadership and political will, reflectes the allocation of health outcomes to health services, as well as technical, political and public misconceptions about the root causes of health and wellbeing. Ideologies and prejudices, non-evidence-based policies, narrow sectoral cultures, short political periods, lack of population-based health information and few opportunities for participation limit the opportunities for urban health. Local policies on early childhood, healthy schools, employment, active transport, parks, leisure and community services, housing, urban planning, food protection and environmental health have great positive impacts on health. Key tools include the political prioritisation of health and equity, the commitment to «Health in All Policies» and the participation of communities, social movements and civil society. This requires well organised and funded structures and processes, as well as equity-based health information and capacity building in the health sector, other sectors and society. We conclude that local policies have a great potential for maximising health and equity and equity. The recommendations for carrying them out are increasingly solid and feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cities
  • Equity
  • Governance
  • Health promotion
  • Social determinants
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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