Upcoming Program

Session Overview

Current land use, competing interests, car dependency, and associated inequalities and more are narrowing the opportunities of living healthy lives throughout the life course. At the same time, the 21st Century is proving to be a time of acknowledging disparities and the need for innovation and resilient communities. Voices are rising for fair and just communities and the right for everyone to have a healthy environment.  These voices can be heard in those that subscribe to the social determinants of health and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both camps are working to secure lasting gains for health and well-being of people and thriving communities that offer opportunities to all. 

The idea that place contributes to health is not new.  The field of urban planning emerged from the recognition that many factors contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and communities.  From the 19th century onwards it was understood that investments in water and sewage infrastructure would reduce death and illness from infectious disease.  In the last generation, innovative public health programs have engaged with non-health specific policies and agencies to design new processes for evaluating social determinants of health.  A close cousin to sustainability is resilience which also has shared definitions in planning, health and increasingly in community development.

In all of this there has been a driving assumption across people and organizations that are investing in, and organizing for, fair and just development that building capacity among residents and local leaders across sectors (government, community development, private investment, health) can help result in equitable policies and systems-focused approaches and investments that yield multiple co-benefits, lower risks and improve well-being.  In short, increased and informed civic participation will lead to more equitable infrastructure designed, and built, in and for the public interest. There is also an assumption that this development can enhance public life, decrease social isolation and marginalization, and create opportunities for health and well-being for all.

With large construction cranes filling the air space of nearly every major city across the globe, there has probably never been a better time to explore how to build healthy, equitable cities and share stories and practices. What are the key drivers for health-promoting equitable development; data, culture, policies, enlightened leaders, organized civic actors?  How can this understanding best be applied and scaled up in differing contexts?


Infrastructure, community development and equity are broad terms that can have diverse applications and meanings.  The uses of these terms for this program are defined here.

Community development: The United Nations defines community development as a “process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.”   We will be reviewing activities that build stronger and more resilient communities through an ongoing process of identifying and addressing needs, assets, and priority investments. Community development activities may support infrastructure, economic development projects, installation of public facilities, community centers, housing rehabilitation, public services, clearance/acquisition, microenterprise assistance, code enforcement, homeowner assistance and many other identified needs. 

References to infrastructure include: transportation (access to public transportation, public transit pricing, alternatives to personal vehicle travel, public streets that are designed for all users); broadband (access to it, subsidies to support it); utilities including water and power (subsidies for low-income households, access to it, access to free and healthy drinking water in all community settings, lead abatement activities, and storm-water management); parks; housing; and mixed-use development.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) defines health equity as meaning that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

Participant Profile

This program will bring together 60 innovators and stakeholders from around the world who have engaged citizens and communities in shaping their environments to support health and well-being. The group will span perspectives from citizen groups and civil society organizations; urban and rural design, planning and development; housing and transport; business and retail; public health and nutrition; sport, leisure and nature conservation; local government and participatory processes; central government; behavioral science and economics; education and culture; and the media.

Program Format

This five-day highly-interactive program, held at Schloss Leopoldskron, home of Salzburg Global Seminar, will prioritize opportunities for cross-border sharing and learning. Participants will focus on building new insights and aggregating perspectives and experiences from relevant sectors, areas of expertise and regions. Working groups, each with a thematic and/or country focus, will prepare practical recommendations for action by different target audiences.

Key Questions

  1. How can we leverage trends and opportunities in urban (and rural) revitalization with investments in infrastructure to focus on health, equity and the public good?
  2. Are there key policy strategies or practices that support healthier and more equitable housing, transportation, utilities and park/open space systems?
  3. How can we foster a shared sense of community in the built environment? Can that lead to infrastructure in the public interest? What role does culture play?
  4. Can and how can citizen science and data be used to direct resources and promote equitable development?

Outcomes and Impact

  • Seed new and innovative approaches through international and cross-border exchange and the transmission of best practice.
  • Develop ongoing networking and collaborations among participants and the institutions they represent.
  • Co-create action plans designed and agreed by participants for them to take forward as appropriate at local and regional levels, and to leverage the global scope of the project to influence public opinion and democratic debate and policy making.
  • Issue a Salzburg Statement identifying best practice and framing opportunities for inclusive healthy place-making to take place.
  • Publish an agenda-setting report through a media partnership with the British Medical Journal.

Session Brochure

The session brochure can be downloaded here

Virtual Library

Roerty, Sharon. Four Ways to Build Inclusive, Healthy Places for All. Culture of Health Blog. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 25 July, 2018.

Roerty, Sharon and Jennifer Gardner. Planning Public Spaces to Drive Health Equity. Meetings of the Minds.

Wilkerson, Risa. What does a Culture of Compassion look like? Healthy Places by Design Blog, 18 July, 2018.

Multi-Year Series


Salzburg Global Seminar has long been a leading forum for the exchange of ideas on issues in health and health care affecting countries throughout the world. At these meetings agendas have been re-set affecting policy and practice in crucial areas, such as patient safety and the engagement of patients in medical decision making. In 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar launched a multi-year series – Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century – to crystallize new approaches to global health and health care in the face of emerging challenges affecting us now and set to continue on through the coming generation.

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Salzburg Global Seminar is an international not-for profit institutions with offices and activities in multiple countries. A US 501(c)(3) institution, Salzburg Global Seminar's annual budget is set US Dollars and program fees are calculated on $5000 per person basis for 4-5 day programs and $3500 per person for 2-3 day programs. Annual exchange rate calculations for program fees in EUR are calculated using an average of previous years.

The individual fee rates for Salzburg Global Seminar sessions in 2018 are:

  • 4-5 days session - US $5,000 or €4,475
  • 2-3 days session - US $3,500 or €3,135

This fee covers the cost of the program, program materials, accommodation and meals. The fee does not cover travel costs to Salzburg.

Scholarships and Discounts: In order to gather individuals from a wide variety of sectors and countries, where funding allows, Salzburg Global may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships and discounts to participants and Fellows from universities, research institutes, think-tanks, non-governmental organizations, and public officials from developing (non-OECD) countries. If you would like to apply for a scholarship or discount, please send your CV or brief bio and personal statement to

After your registration for a session is accepted, payment is due within five (5) business days after receipt of the confirmation. Payment can be made via credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or by bank transfer.

Cancellation Fees: In case of cancellation, a participant may transfer registration to another member of the participant's organization (city, department, firm, etc.) upon mutual agreement. Alternatively:

  • Cancellation more than 60 days before the program: 100% refund
  • Cancellation less than 60 days and more than 30 days before the event: 50% refund
  • Cancellation less than 30 days, but more than 14 days: 25% refund
  • Cancellation less than 14 days: no refund