Civilization starts with the first human settlement and evolves to the present day.
In September 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals upon completion of the Millennium Development Goals which started in 2000 to address the increasingly complex development challenges humans collectively face on Earth.
Back in July 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 65/309 Happiness: Towards a Holistic Definition of Development, calling upon member states to measure the happiness of their people and to use the data to help guide public policy. In April, 2012, the first UN High Level Meeting entitled Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm convened as a follow-up, which was chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan, a nation that adopted Gross National Happiness as their lead development indicator.
In all those development objectives, health is a cross cutting theme. Ultimately, health is both an end and a means for development.
Worldwide now about 55% of the world’s population lives in cities and the trend is growing. Urban settlement is the dominant setting modern day people relate to each other, to the world, and to the environment. In 2016, the New Urban Agenda was adopted at HABITAT III, where WHO proposed Health as the Pulse of the New Urban Agenda, highlighting “the most important assets of any city is the health of its citizens.”
As many countries are creating new urban settlements or cities in their development drive, we want to explore what are the basic concepts and principles for building health while building such new cities? As the human race evolves to this stage of development after the eons of primitive times, ancient years, and modern days since the first humans built a shelter called a home, can we have something new? Or can we create a new civilization of settlements with health as its central focus?
Those will be the mission and objectives of the HHO Healthy Cities Initiative.