A projected 5 billion people, or 60% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, which makes urban health a matter of global health. In September 2015, Canada and 192 fellow countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global framework for action for people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. It outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs, all with a guiding principle of leaving no one behind. We have ten years to meet these goals, and there are a number of areas where Canada is lagging behind, and in some cases, moving backwards.
This is Healthy Cities in the SDG Era, a podcast about the SDGs, and how research conducted by faculty and students at the University of Toronto is helping to achieve them. This podcast will explore research and policy topics related to SDG3: Good Health and Well-being, and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and the ways in which they intersect with the other SDGs - for example, areas like poverty, hunger, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and climate action. Our goal is to give context to the ongoing research and progress towards achieving the SDGs at U of T, as it relates to Canada’s actions, and to add new perspectives to national discussions about the SDGs. Our conversations will be evidence-based and focus on highlighting actionable ways that people can make an impact in achieving the SDGs.
CREDITS: This podcast is co-hosted by Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero, Director of the Centre for Global Health, and Ophelia Michaelides, Manager of the Centre for Global Health, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and produced by Elizabeth Loftus. Audio editing is by Anwaar Baobeid. Music is produced by Julien Fortier and Patrick May. It is made with the support of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:00:05] Hello, everyone. My name is Erica Di Ruggiero
Ophelia Michaelides [00:00:08] And I'm Ophelia Michaelides from the Centre for Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:00:17] And we have a question for you. What does a healthy and sustainable city look like to you? And what could this possibly have to do with global health? Well, it turns out quite a lot. A projected 5 billion people or 60% of the world's population will live in cities by 2030, which makes urban health a matter of global health. And we're not the only ones who think so. In September 2015, Canada and 192 other countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global Framework for Action for People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. It outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs, 169 targets and over 230 indicators, all with a guiding principle of leaving no one behind. We have ten years to meet these goals, and there are a number of areas where Canada is lagging behind and in some cases moving backwards.
Ophelia Michaelides [00:01:30] Welcome to Healthy Cities in the SDG era, a podcast where we will talk about the Sustainable Development Goals and how we can achieve them. We'll be unpacking the SDGs from the perspective of a global health-focused center at an academic institution in Canada's most populous city, Toronto. We're recording from Toronto or Tkaronto on the traditional land of the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation Anishinaabe, Wendat, Huron and Haudenosaunee Indigenous Peoples. The territory was the subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Treaty, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and Allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This meeting place continues to be the home to many indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:02:26] Throughout our episodes will be focusing on research and policy topics related to SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and the ways in which they work with the other SDGs. For example, areas like poverty, hunger, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities and climate action. Now let's get to know each other a bit better. So my name is Erica Di Ruggiero, and I'm the director of the Centre for Global Health and an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. My research examines how evidence affects global policy agendas related to employment, other determinants and health equity in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. I also study the health and health equity impacts of policy and program interventions at the population level.
Ophelia Michaelides [00:03:26] And my name is Ophelia Michaelides. I am the manager at the Center for Global Health, a public health professional with experience in global health and health system strengthening, and a track record of building globally influential communities and partnerships. Having worked in the public sector, NGO space and academia, the focus of my work has largely been on program design, implementation, evaluation and collaboration. So you might ask, why are we making this podcast? And it's a great question. Firstly, we think these conversations are important. They affect us all, and we hope our discussions spark ideas and topics to discuss in your own networks, too. As a Center for Global Health, we are a hub of knowledge in global health, research and education. We operate within a top Canadian school of public health and are located in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Combining our location and Canadian values of equity, universal health care and social protection, we know we can make an impact on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:04:33] The rest of the University of Toronto, or U of T community is also on board. In 2017, the University created the President's Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability as a part of the response to calls from faculty, student and climate organizations for the university to divest from direct investments in fossil fuel companies. U of T is also among the top producers of research on the SDGs globally and ranks third and fourth in the world among universities for the volume of scholarly publications related to good health and well-being and sustainable cities and communities. Throughout this podcast, we will feature the expert perspectives of U of T faculty and students. Our goal is to give context to the ongoing research and progress towards achieving the SDGs at U of T as it relates to Canada's actions and to add new perspectives to our national discussions. Our conversations will be evidence based and focus on action and impact with the knowledge and all in our own unique way. We can take one more step towards achieving the SDGs.
Ophelia Michaelides [00:05:50] Healthy Cities in the SDG era is made with the support of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, whose mission is to bring urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the public together to explore and address complex urban challenges. You can find healthy cities in the SDG era on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health's YouTube page. Join us for our next podcast in the coming weeks, where we'll talk about why the SDGs matter to Canada and how academic institutions such as the U of T can play a role in achieving these goals. Thank you for tuning in and we look forward to speaking soon. Take care.