In a letter to the Financial Times today, GTC fellows Professor Michael Earl, Professor Kenneth Fleming and Professor Sir John Grimly Evans and others argue that 'The current preoccupation of financial commentators with the growing economic power of Brazil, China, India and other emerging markets gives insufficient attention to health hazards arising from rapid urbanisation'.
They maintain that, while the scale of many emerging market cities offers opportunities to create healthy environments and deliver cost-effective healthcare, many remain vulnerable to epidemics, natural disasters, and the violent consequences of social breakdown.
Nothing is more critical to the economic well-being of emerging market countries than the health of their cities, but healthy cities depend on the reinvention of urban public health.
The letter follows the second Emerging Markets Symposium, hosted by Green Templeton College earlier this month, which considered Urbanization, Health and Human Security: Challenges for Emerging Market Countries. The Symposium was attended by 50 global leaders including Shaukat Aziz, former prime Minister of Pakistan and Rodrigo Botero, former finance minister of Colombia.
The Emerging Markets Symposium is a GTC initiative launched in 2008 as a forum in which high priority sectoral issues that affect human welfare in emerging market countries could be candidly addressed.
Read the Financial Times letter in full.