2022 WEHD Conference

Urban planning for healthy cities

Currently, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, this is expected to be around 70%. Cities occupy just 3% of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of global CO2 emissions. They are responsible for the annual generation of 2.01 billion tons of municipal solid waste and it is expected to grow 70% next thirty years. Global risks such as climate change and pandemics (more than 90% of COVID-19 cases occurred in urban areas) largely impact urban life, including cities’ basic services, biodiversity, environment, infrastructure, housing, human livelihoods and health. Cities are also powerhouses of economic growth, contributing about 60% of global GDP. The future has cities; cities are the future. Inevitably, global challenges will be won or lost within the cities.

This scenario raises multiple challenges. Transition to healthier and more sustainable cities is the first one. Transition to what? With whom? And through what kind of interventions and based on what frameworks? Which indicators should be used? How to ensure that this transition leaves no one behind? Which policies are needed to ensure a soft, inclusive and effective transition to a condition of greater prosperity, equity and wellbeing for all? In this conference, which takes place under the World Environmental Health Day celebration, we have invited recognized experts from different fields to discuss urban planning as the key for a successful transition to healthy cities.

How and what must be changed? How can be better defined and implemented evidence-based city planning policies? How and why is it important to get aboard citizens in planning and governing the city of the future? How and why urban biodiversity may lead to healthy and sustainable cities? How and why the change of urban lifestyles impacts the health of the population living in cities? These are some questions that will drive the conference next September 26, 2022 at Lisbon, Portugal.


10:00 - 10:15


10:15 - 10:30

The Lancet Global Health Series on urban design, transport, and health | Anne Vernez Moudon (University of Washington, Seattle, USA)

10:30 - 10:45

Public participation in habitat planning | Ricardo Veludo (Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal)

10:45 - 11:00

Biodiversity at the basis of healthy cities | Cristina Branquinho (Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon)

11:00 - 11:15

Lifestyle in urban setting: cardiovascular health | Ana Abreu (Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon)

11:15 - 12:30




Anne Vernez Moudon is Professor Emerita of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is President of the International Seminar on Urban Morphology (ISUF), an international and interdisciplinary organization of scholars and practitioners; a Faculty Associate at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, in Cambridge, MA; a Fellow of the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.; and a National Advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program on Active Living Policy and Environmental Studies.


Ricardo Veludo is a territorial engineer and a urban planner. Presently works as an expert adviser at the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal. Former Councillor of Urban Planning and Public participation in Lisbon City Council. Managed planning, and public space design, construction permits and citizen relationship, all during the COVID-19 pandemic, defining adaptation guidelines for public space, housing, and started a new policy to prepare Lisbon for global systemic risks, like earthquakes and others. In the last 7 years worked intensively in affordable housing and sustainable habitats policies and projects.


Cristina Branquinho received the Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Lisbon in 1997 and she is currently leading the Ecology of Environmental Change research group of cE3c. She is an Associate Researcher of Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. Cristina's research focuses on understanding ecological patterns at the ecosystem level in response to environmental changes. For many years she has been involved in studying the impact of anthropogenic activity in the structure and functioning of ecosystems.


Ana Abreu is Professor of Cardiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. She is also director of the Institute of Environmental Health, of the Institute of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Abreu is a senior cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology of the University Hospital of Santa Maria (CHULN) and it is also coordinator of the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Centre, of the Exercise and Rehabilitation Laboratory and of the Master Course in Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Photo gallery

Organizing committee


Ana Virgolino


Osvaldo Santos


Ricardo R. Santos