Healthy Urban Childhoods 8 – 9 October 2019

Healthy Urban Childhoods will focus on how to strengthen the child perspective in urban planning to create healthier and more inclusive cities for children.

Photo: Paolo Braioca

Using knowledge from research and innovations, the objective is to develop concrete proposals for improved practice and policies, and form alliances to pursue new ideas and implement joint solutions.


By 2050, an estimated 70 % the world’s population will live in cities. The majority of these urban residents will be children. While cities can bring opportunities and access that helps children thrive and develop, urban life also put children´s health at risk. Toxic air, poor access to water and sanitation, lack of access to nutritious food, room for rest, exercise and everyday freedom of movement are examples of issues that have negative impacts on growing minds and bodies. Social fears, segregation and exaggerated risk perceptions also lead to reduced activity levels and hamper children's development and mental wellbeing.

Focus at Uppsala Health Summit 2019

So what does a child-friendly city look like? How can we plan urban settings for children's health and involve children's perspective in the process? 

The Sustainable Developments Goals, particularly goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG target 3.4 on the Prevention and Treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases and the Promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing, along with the New Urban Agenda, are the blueprint to achieve a sustainable and healthy urban future for all. But while there is a wealth of knowledge and evidence, implementation mechanisms for these frameworks are still under development.

At Uppsala Health Summit 2019, we will focus specifically on children and urban planning, with the perspective that a city that is planned for children is healthy for all.

The dialogue will focus on:

  • Spaces for play, recovery, contact with nature, independent mobility and physical exercise - how do we make it happen?
  • Children's meaningful participation in the planning processes and incentives for building healthy environments 
  • Building and using evidence about inequalities in children's urban health
  • Sustainable prevention of childhood obesity by implementing the concept of ECHO-zones
  • Inclusion through social innovation
  • How to build industry-academy partnerships to promote healthy brain functions through physical exercise.

The Summit

Uppsala Health Summit delegates 2018.
Photo: Danish Saroee

Uppsala Health Summit is a two-day meeting filled with results-oriented dialogues in workshops, inspiring keynote presentations and debate in plenary. Delegates from different sectors and countries bring key competencies to the table. This creates many opportunities to engage in interesting conversations and establish useful new relations.

Uppsala Health Summit goal is to bring different perspectives together, to address already identified challenges and dilemmas to improve utilization of medical advancements for better health globally.

One month prior to the Summit, all delegates will receive the Pre-Conference Report. This document summarises the state-of-the-art research on the topics that the workshops will elaborate on.

About 200 delegates will attend the Summit at Uppsala Castle. The participants are selected to ensure a broad multi-sectorial and international group, who are well acquainted with the challenges and obstacles associated with policy implementation. The Summit gathers representatives from academic research, industry, civil society, politics, healthcare and public sector.

A successful Summit is a meeting where not only new solutions have been drafted, but where also new alliances and collaborations have been formed.

Last modified: 2022-03-24