Building Healthy, Equitable Communities - Moving Forward

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Oct 18, 2018
by Oscar Tollast
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Building Healthy, Equitable Communities - Moving Forward

Health and planning experts meet on the final day of program to discuss how to develop their ideas and continue work outside of Salzburg Participants pose for a group photo outside Schloss Leopoldskron at Salzburg Global Seminar

Participants of Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment have left Salzburg encouraged to pursue their projects and continue their work to build healthier, equitable communities.

Following five days of discussion, participants came together on the final day of the program to present their ideas on how to take their work forward. The group, featuring 60 health and urban planning experts, had previously split up into seven working groups.

The first group discussed their desire to create a more inclusive process for development, stressing the need for a holistic impact analysis which takes things which are hard to quantify into consideration. This can be done by defining the landscape and developing an accountable action plan.

The second group to present focused on governance and advocated for all types of decisions relating to urban development to increasingly prioritize equity and health. If a decision does not meet set criteria, let it be known as a “toxic decision.” These are the decisions that cause inequity.

Another group oriented their presentation around the “Salzburg Global Framework to Enable Living Life Well – Getting Equity on the Agenda.”

These participants focused on health and politics. They discussed the need to create an ongoing dialogue and an inventory of literature to support ideas. The framework elements should focus on creating a vision, partnerships and collaboration, intelligence, and power.

Other participants created a “Seven Days of Change” program, which guides users how to make one change a day that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle. The group attached Sustainable Development Goals to each of the activitiy suggestions, indicating the positive things people can do for their communities.

The penultimate group to present asked how we could better develop evidence-based policy to help build healthy, equitable communities. Participants discussed the potential concept of having an “interpreter of data” to help inform policymakers.

The final group presented the “Committee in De-Fence of the Revolution.” They spoke of the neeed for new forms of thinking, problem-solving, governance and decision-making. They called for the creation of a “Brave Space,” a space to understand ourselves and others better.

Salzburg Global Seminar will continue to support discussions which stem from the program.


The program Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment is part of Salzburg Global Seminar's multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation. This year's program is held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the program. Follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.