Healthy cities in developing countries: a programme of multilateral assistance
In this chapter, we focus on the close interdependence of health and the urban environment. The latter is conceived as the complex whole of the physical, economic, social and political conditions in an urban area. After providing an overview of the relationship between health and the physical components of the urban environment, we will show how their improvement depends on other dimensions of the urban environment. We will then introduce the UNDP/WHO Healthy Cities programme in developing countries (1995-1998) as an attempt to address comprehensively the problems of urban health in the South through international development co-operation. We will highlight the basic assumptions of the programme and, as a specific case study, refer to the implementation of the programme in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Because of its focus on the interrelations between the several dimensions of the environment in a given (urban) geographical area, Healthy Cities is a subject of particular interest for health geographers (Verhasselt 1993,1997; Werna et ah 1996).