World Health Organization (WHO)
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
100 Manila
Philippines
Email: postmaster@wpro.who.int
Fax: +63-2 521 1036
Tel: +63-2 528 8001


FRONT PAGE
SiteSearch
About us
Directories


South Asians face health risk in urban UK
Urban planning and public health
AIDS strategy
Urban slums
Middle East women


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

WHO calls for stronger cities to
help prevent Asian health crisis
By Ruth Maguire

1 January 2005: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the health of city dwellers in the western Pacific region will suffer dramatically unless urgent measures are taken now to alleviate worsening environmental conditions. The western Pacific region includes countries such as Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.

According to the WHO, many urban areas are growing in population so fast that economies, services and infrastructures cannot cope. This will result not only in outbreaks of disease, but also in an upsurge in crime, violence, environmental degradation, pollution, poverty and unhealthy lifestyles.

Urban areas worldwide are gaining an estimated 67 million people a year, or about 1.3 million every week. By 2030, about five billion people are expected to live in cities – 60 per cent of the projected global population of 8.3 billion.

Highlighting the growing problems, Dr Shigeru Omi, WHO Regional Director for western Pacific, said the urban poor are more vulnerable to poor health and environmental hazards because they are more likely than others to lack adequate housing, sanitation and other basic services.

About 2.3 billion people worldwide suffer from diseases linked to water problems, such as diarrhoea, schistosomiasis, trachoma, ascariasis and hookworm. Water-related diseases kill millions of people each year, preventing millions more from leading healthy lives, and undermining development efforts.

WHO estimates that 1.5 billion urban dwellers face levels of outdoor air pollution that are above the maximum recommended limits. In Asia - with half of the world's city dwellers - more than 500,000 people die every year from diseases related to air pollution. About half a million deaths each year globally can be attributed to particulate matter and sulphur dioxide in outdoor air. Bringing suspended particulate matter down to safe levels could save between 300,000 and 700,000 lives annually, said WHO.

Dr Omi noted that shifting authority from central governments to municipalities can help make policies, plans and actions more responsive, especially to the plight of the urban poor. "Decentralization, accompanied by empowerment of people to take action, can be a potent force for vitalizing communities," he said. "There is no longer a need to wait for central government to take action. People and their leaders can take on tasks on their own."

In response to this growing problem, WHO in 1994 created the Healthy Cities initiative to improve health and the quality of life in urban areas. The initiative has since turned into a regional movement with some 100 cities actively involved.

Related report: More than one billion people call urban slums their home


Who are the world’s most outstanding mayors? If you know of mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit nominate him or her now for World Mayor 2007.


Introducing
World Mayor 2007

The World Mayor project, organised by City Mayors, is now in its fourth year. As in 2004, 2005 and 2006 this year’s World Mayor will again be seeking out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit.



The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve as well as raise their profiles nationally and internationally. It honours those who have served their communities selflessly and courageously and who have made significant contributions to the well-being of cities. The most outstanding mayor of 2007 will be presented with the World Mayor Award.



You are now invited to nominate mayors who you think should be among the 50 finalists of the 2007 contest. The list of finalists will be published in June 2007. The winner of World Mayor 2007 will announced in early December 2007.



Previous winners
and runner-ups

In 2006
Winner: John So, Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Australia)
Runner-up: Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
In 2005:
Winner: Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens (Greece)
Runner-up: Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga (Canada)
In 2004:
Winner: Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana (Albania)
Runner-up: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City (Mexico)

Previous winners are not eligible in 2007.