Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss Take Aways from Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Program

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Oct 18, 2018
by Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu
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Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss Take Aways from Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Program

Salzburg Global Fellows reveal their main take aways from Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment Salzburg Global Fellows reveal their main take aways from Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment

A select number of Fellows at Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment were asked: What is one of the take aways you'll leave this program with? We have published their answers below.

“This seminar is not only for idea exchange or expert exchange, but also we focused on upper-level philosophical norms, and this time it was equity...This is something I was really impressed with. As I am from [the] health care policy field, I have felt that need of collaboration between health policy, urban design, urban planning, so I [would] like to have an applicable exchange forum in Tokyo which is facing an aging population and population decline [while also hosting the 2020 Olympics]… I would like to invite some Fellows I have met here to Tokyo to have some applicable discussions on how Tokyo could be more a healthier, more equitable city from the perspective of urban planning.”

Ryoji Noritake, Japan
President of the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)

“The uniqueness of this seminar is that we have people from academic institutions who try to generate evidence, we have people who are policy makers and we have [people] who are directly working on the ground at community health, local governments and urban planning departments, as well as NGOs. So for me, it provided me with a unique opportunity to interact with these people. With the connections I have made, I will try to cultivate those connections and look at potential opportunities where we can collaborate in a reciprocal and fruitful manner.”

Chinmoy Sarkar, India
Assistant professor of geographic/land information system (GIS), urban health and environment at the University of Hong Kong

“There is a meeting waiting for me back home in Bangkok on community development. We are on phase one of my project, which I presented about here at the Seminar. I think the knowledge and many techniques learned from here will make my project stronger. I think this was a good opportunity to learn from experts from around the world.”

Kornsupha Nitvimol, Thailand
Director of human resource and social strategy division at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)

“My takeaway message is that trying to build equitable, healthy, liveable communities is extremely complicated. But what I have realised is that we are all dealing with very similar issues from different contexts, different countries, from countries with different economic development...I think this meeting is an important part of the process of doing that, they are small steps but I think we need to keep the big picture in mind. What I will be doing far more off than I did in the past is to engage much more closely with local councils and with place planners and with people who are actively engaged in designing and building cities... My role as an academic sometimes leaves me somewhat removed from what is going on, on the ground, but increasingly now I realise from mixing with the groups here that I would like to become far more involved in a direct way with groups, policy makers, practitioners, planners [and] with people who are actively using the evidence that I generate to build healthy equitable communities. It has been a fantastic experience... I have learnt so much, it has been challenging, it has taken me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to a whole range of experiences and ideas that I didn’t have before I came here. So I will go away with some new friends, collaborations and a great sense of belonging to something that is exciting and holds a lot of hope.”

Gavin Turrell, Australia
Professor of place and health at Deakin University, Melbourne


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.