During the next five years, researchers Letícia Cardoso, from the National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz), and Fátima Pina, from the Institute of Communication and Scientific and Technological Information in Health (Icict/Fiocruz), will be committed to answer the following question: can cities in Latin America be healthier? The question is raised on the basis of the international project Building healthier, equitable and environmentally sustainable cities: Lessons from Latin America. The initiative is led by Drexel University and will involve 11 institutions from Latin America and three from the United States.
The project, one of those selected by the UK funding agency Wellcome Trust to receive a total of 10 million American dollars over five years, originated at the Latin American Urban Health Network, which Fiocruz has been participating in since 2015. Latin America is ideal for studying the impact of urbanization on health, since it is one of the most urbanized regions in the world, with 80% of the population living in cities. It is estimated that, by 2050, the continent will be the most urbanized region on the planet. Great social inequalities persist in the region, nonetheless; in the ranking of the 30 most unequal cities in social and health indicators, 19 are in Latin America.