Brazil has experienced rapid urbanization in the last century with over 80% of Brazilians now living in urban areas. The adjustment to urban living has left many of Brazil’s poorest living in the “urban frontiers” where inadequate living conditions, infrastructure and health care have resulted in deep social inequality.
In low-income urban communities, where the scale and pace of urbanization has applied pressure to already under-resourced city infrastructures and health services, existing health inequities have deepened further.
For cities to truly thrive, they must become ecosystems of health and wellbeing, where each part works towards one goal: improving people’s quality of life. This calls for multidisciplinary, multisector innovation in how health services are created, managed and delivered in cities, but also, how cities are planned and built.
Better Hearts Better Cities is a Novartis Foundation initiative which seeks to improve cardiovascular health in low-income urban communities by adopting a multisector, multidisciplinary approach to improve the control of hypertension as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.