Towards healthy One Planet cities and communities: planetary health promotion at the local level

Health Promot Int. 2021 Dec 13;36(Supplement_1):i53-i63. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daab120.


Health promotion has paid a lot of attention to the social determinants of health and to health equity but much less attention to the ecological determinants. Yet the most fundamental determinants of health are the natural systems that make the Earth liveable and are the source of our air, water, food, fuels and materials. Yet they are threatened by the very economic and social development that we have created to meet the social determinants of health. Moreover, the benefits and burdens of that development are inequitably distributed, resulting in both ecological and social injustice. In the past few years the new field of planetary health-'the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends'-has emerged, while WHO has confirmed that 'the source of human health [is] nature'. So arguably the most important task facing health promotion in the 21st century is to turn its attention to planetary health: health promotion workers must become planetary health promoters. Local health promotion in the 21st century needs to incorporate the concept of planetary health promotion and its application in the creation of healthy 'One Planet' communities and must become part of the emerging network of community organizations and individuals working to create sustainable, just and healthy communities.

Keywords: Anthropocene; One Planet living; ecological determinants; healthy cities; planetary health.

MeSH terms

  • Cities
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Planets*
  • Public Health*