Strategies for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Urban Areas: The Erice 50 Charter

Ann Ig. Nov-Dec 2017;29(6):481-493. doi: 10.7416/ai.2017.2179.

Abstract

The Erice 50 Charter titled "Strategies for Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion in Urban Areas" was unanimously approved at the conclusion of the 50th Residential Course "Urban Health. Instruments for promoting health and for assessing hygienic and sanitary conditions in urban areas", held from 29th March to 2nd April 2017 in Erice, at the "Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture and promoted by the International School of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine "G. D'Alessandro" and the Study Group "Building Hygiene" of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI). At the conclusion of the intense learning experience during the Course, with more than 20 lectures, workshops and long-lasting discussions between Professors and Students, the participants identified the major points connecting urban features and Public Health, claiming the pivotal role of urban planning strategies for the management of Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion activities. The Erice 50 Charter is configured as a Decalogue for Healthy Cities and as a Think Tank for designing effective strategic actions and best practices to develop urban regeneration interventions and improve the urban quality of contemporary cities. The Decalogue is structured into the following key strategic objectives: 1. Promoting urban planning interventions that address citizens towards healthy behaviours; 2. Improving living conditions in the urban context; 3. Building an accessible and inclusive city, with a special focus on the frail population; 4. Encouraging the foundation of resilient urban areas; 5. Supporting the development of new economies and employment through urban renewal interventions; 6. Tackling social inequalities; 7. Improving stakeholders' awareness of the factors affecting Public Health in the cities; 8. Ensuring a participated urban governance; 9. Introducing qualitative and quantitative performance tools, capable of measuring the city's attitude to promote healthy lifestyles and to monitor the population's health status; 10. Encouraging sharing of knowledge and accessibility to informations. Finally, all the participants underlined that a multidisciplinary team, composed of Physicians specialized in Hygiene, Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Technicians as Architects, Urban planners and Engineers, is needed to deepen the research topic of Urban Health.

Keywords: Built Environment; Health Promotion; Planning and Designing Strategies; Public Health; Urban Health.

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Urban Health*