The demographic growth of cities is making health a priority for mayors, architects, planners and all those who live in the urban environment, especially in Asia and the English-speaking world. So much so that today the question is no longer how we prevent cities from spoiling our health, but rather how to shape urban planning to benefit the lifelong wellbeing of citizens more effectively. "Cities are the root causes of many health problems, but they are also key to solving a number of these problems", says Jacob West, member of the Harvard Global Health Institute and former programme director for the London Health Commission.
This paradox is even more noticeable in very large urban centres, where population concentration and the nature and intensity of economic activity impact directly on the quality of life enjoyed by citizens. Long neglected, the concept of wellbeing then becomes a key factor in the attraction of cities.