Personas, ciudades y economías saludables

OXFORDLas fuerzas detrás del crecimiento de las ciudades europeas y norteamericanas en el siglo XIX y XX hoy son el motor de la urbanización en Brasil, China, India, México, Rusia y otros países de mercados emergentes. Dado que el crecimiento de estas ciudades se vio impulsado y magnificado por tecnologías productivas, una rápida migración interna y altas tasas netas de reproducción, muchas de ellas alcanzaron un tamaño sin precedentes a una velocidad acelerada. De hecho, todas excepto tres de las 20 ciudades más grandes del mundo están en mercados emergentes.

Muchos pronósticos sugieren que para 2030, las cuatro principales economías de mercados emergentes habrán superado a todo el G-7 en tamaño, y que para 2050, las economías de mercados emergentes de hoy representarán más de la mitad de la economía global y una porción aún mayor de la población mundial. Todos estos pronósticos suponen que el crecimiento económico se generará en las ciudades.

Ahora bien, ¿las ciudades de mercados emergentes serán lo suficientemente saludables como para impulsar un rápido crecimiento económico? Las cuestiones que preocupan a los responsables de políticas sanitarias y a los profesionales de la salud en Lima, El Cairo, Kolkata y Yakarta reflejan climas, geografías, historias y culturas contrastantes. Cada ciudad, en definitiva, es un caso especial. Pero comparten algunas características genéricas.

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