Building Healthier Communities

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Apr 20, 2020
by Salzburg Global Fellows
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Building Healthier Communities

Fellows of Salzburg Global programs on healthier and more equitable communities pen blog series for The BMJ

In 2017 and 2018, Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation convened a series of three programs exploring the conditions which can create and protect health and wellbeing beyond a traditional focus on health care. The three sessions covered hospitals, urban planning, and childhood obesity.

In the intervening months, several Salzburg Global Fellows of those programs have come together to write a series of articles for The BMJ, all of which are available for free. The articles in this collection reflect the wide ranging discussions by program participants from around the world, identifying challenges and opportunities for building healthier communities.

John Lotherington, Salzburg Global Program Director said: "We’re delighted to see this collection of articles arising from our sessions in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Building Healthy Communities: the Role of Hospitals and Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment*. They are great contributions to our joint goal of how better to build a culture of health, bringing together stakeholders from diverse sectors and from every continent.

"We should pay tribute to all the authors, who carried the energy and ideas forward from the session, and despite onerous 'day jobs' continued these collaborations to produce such fascinating articles which, through BMJ Online, will influence thinking around the world."

The Role of Hospitals

GDP and the economics of despair
We should switch to a measure that promotes health, not consumption, says Harry Burns

Hospitals could be anchors for an economy focused on wellbeing
Paul Simpson asks how can healthcare systems help build healthy societies beyond providing high quality medical care

Can New Zealand’s wellbeing budget help address social inequalities?
Plans for a wellbeing budget have been met with both scepticism and hope, reports Anna Matheson

Lowering hospital walls to achieve health equity
Hospitals have a pivotal role in reducing health inequities for indigenous people and other marginalised groups, argue Anna Matheson and colleagues

How healthcare can help heal communities and the planet
The gains from healthcare are often undermined by the sector’s contributions to social inequity and environmental damage, but it doesn’t have to be that way argue Damon Francis and colleagues

Inclusive Urban Development and Investment

Strengthening the links between planning and health in England
Gemma McKinnon and colleagues argue that multidisciplinary action in planning and health will contribute to more equitable communities and improved health and wellbeing

How can urban planning contribute to building health equity?
Sharon Roerty tells us more about what can be done to make cities a more healthy place to live.

Confronting power and privilege for inclusive, equitable, and healthy communities
Ascala Sisk and colleagues set out a call to interrogate power and analyse privilege to create and sustain healthy communities.

Connected green spaces in cities pay real dividends
Nick Chapman writes about the benefits of urban green spaces.

*A third set of articles connected with the RWJF-funded program on Healthy Children, Healthy Weight is forthcoming. 

This collection is a series of articles based on discussions from Salzburg Global Seminar programs on building healthy communities. Open access fees were funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The BMJ peer reviewed, edited, and made the decision to publish the article with no involvement from the foundation.