Des personnes en bonne santé, des villes saines, des économies florissantes

OXFORD – Les moteurs de la croissance des villes européennes et nord-américaines au XIXe et au XXe siècles sont les mêmes que ceux qui entraînent aujourd’hui l’urbanisation du Brésil, de la Chine, de l’Inde, du Mexique, de la Russie et d’autres économies émergentes. La croissance de ces villes a été accélérée et amplifiée par les technologies productives, une migration interne rapide et des taux nets de reproduction élevés. Plusieurs de ces villes se sont énormément développées, à un rythme très soutenu. En fait, à l’exception de trois métropoles, les 20 plus grandes villes du monde sont situées dans les pays émergents.

Plusieurs analyses laissent à penser qu’à l’horizon 2030, les quatre principales économies émergentes auront dépassé le G7, et que d’ici 2050, les économies émergentes actuelles représenteront plus de la moitié de l’économie mondiale et une proportion plus importante encore de la population mondiale. Ces prévisions tablent toutes sur une croissance tirée par les villes.

Mais les cités des pays émergents seront-elles suffisamment saines pour induire une croissance économique rapide ? Les questions qui préoccupent les décideurs et praticiens de la santé à Lima, au Caire, à Calcutta et Djakarta reflètent des géographies, des histoires, des cultures et des climats différents. En fin de compte, chaque ville est un cas particulier. Mais elles partagent des points communs.

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