The pandemic changed our world, transforming our understanding of and attitude towards public health. As the first truly global pandemic of the modern era, the outbreak inspired a level of coordination and cooperation previously unseen between cities, as mayors, governors and municipal leaders looked less to national governments for guidance and support than to each other.

Now, as the world continues to recover from the social and economic fallout of the Covid years, capitalising on that collaborative spirit will prove essential to tackling the cause of 80 percent of deaths worldwide: noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries.

NCDs like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and diabetes present considerable challenges for global public health. NCDs are a scourge putting immense strain on public health systems, but they are largely preventable. And tackling these issues isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes economic sense, too.

In a post-pandemic world, city leaders are uniquely placed to take this work forward, shaping cities that promote and support good health. This week in London, the first-ever Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit will take place, with more than 200 mayors and delegates from cities around the globe. Our goal is to share ideas, develop solutions, and show leadership in protecting the welfare of our citizens. By harnessing the ingenuity and ambition that will be in the room, together we can forge a healthier future for all.

Of the interventions supported by the network, air quality is a top priority for a number of cities, including Kathmandu. Overdose prevention is a focus in San Francisco. For Freetown, food policy leads the list; in Amman, it’s tobacco control.

Of course, every city is different and faces its own challenges. And not every solution is applicable across borders. But both of us have seen first-hand how cities benefit by learning from one another – and how smart and effective local policies don’t stay local for long.

Read the full article about public health by Sadiq Khan and Michael Bloomberg at Evening Standard.