Cities are on the front line of the diabetes challenge. City leaders’ closeness to the lives of their citizens and their ability to drive change puts city leaders in a prime position to tackle the challenge and bend the curve on diabetes.

A series of guiding principles have been created based on insights and learnings collected from the Cities Changing Diabetes programme. The five principles are aligned with recommendations from leading health organisations.

These principles are set out in the Urban Diabetes Declaration, which is a commitment from city leaders to accelerate action to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The city of X recognises the need to accelerate city action to prevent diabetes and its complications. There is great potential to improve health and well-being, combat health inequalities, reduce long-term costs, and ensure productivity and growth in our cities.

As a partner city in Cities Changing Diabetes, city X is committed to five principles to guide the actions we deliver to respond to the diabetes challenge. We will:

Cities have great potential to be health-promoting environments. This will require a shift towards viewing the prevention of diabetes and its complications as a long-term investment rather than a short-term cost. Therefore, we must prioritise health-promoting policies and actions to improve health and well-being for all.

Social and cultural determinants are root causes that shape citizens' opportunities for healthy living. Striving for health equity is essential in order to provide healthy opportunities for all. Therefore, we must address social and cultural determinants in order to make the healthy choice the easier choice.

Health is linked to other policy agendas, including social, employment, housing and environmental policies. To improve the health and well-being of citizens, health must be integrated into decision-making processes across departments and be driven by shared policy goals. Therefore, we must coordinate action across departments to integrate health into all policies.

Health is largely created outside the healthcare sector, namely in community settings where people live their everyday lives. Health actions should move beyond the individual level to include the community settings where social norms that shape behaviour are created. Therefore, we must actively engage communities in order to strengthen social cohesion and drive sustainable health-promoting actions.

Health is a shared responsibility. Creating sustainable solutions demands that all members of society acknowledge the health impact of their actions. Combining competences and pooling resources and networks are prerequisites to creating innovative, effective and sustainable solutions. Therefore, we must work together to share the responsibility for creating solutions, as no single entity can solve the challenge alone.

Date of signature: September 11, 2020

“Urbanization and its connection to the surrounding area generate both several risks for public and personal health, as well as opportunities which need to be harnessed in a conscious and wise manner by administrators. The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative provides an excellent framework to perform an analysis of social determinants, as well as the economic and environmental risk factors which impact health.”

– Roberto Pella, Vice President of ANCI and Mayor of Valdengo.


Read ANCI's Urban Diabetes Declaration

”I expect that we will learn new methods, which strengthen our support of people with diabetes and thereby create more well-being in Aarhus. Aarhus is already doing a lot in terms of preventing diabetes, and we are looking forward to be sharing our knowhow. We need to strengthen previous efforts and work together to empower citizens to take responsibility for their own health”

– Jette Skive, Alderman for The Department of Health and Care, Aarhus.


Read Aarhus' Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Aarhus is tackling urban diabetes

"The concept of health, as the WHO has been telling us for years, is increasingly linked to social, environmental, housing, climatic, work and cultural factors. For this reason, the mayor is no longer just the highest authority. in the field of public hygiene and sanitary emergency provided for by the law. He is responsible for accompanying his city towards the future, working to ensure that citizens change their lifestyle and live in conditions of greater well-being. "

– Antonio Decaro, Mayor of Bari and President of the Italian Municipalities Association.


Read Bari's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Bari is tackling urban diabetes

"With the Cities Changing Diabetes project, Bologna want to promote community well-being and support for frailties, taking into account the impact on health of socio-economic, educational and cultural aspects, in the great challenge of intercepting the spread of type 2 diabetes and progressively stem the phenomenon. By joining the Cities Changing Diabetes international project, Bologna intends to launch further studies and analyzes to strengthen the knowledge base and new intervention strategies for the prevention of urban diabetes and strengthen the competence of the community in the field of healthy lifestyles."

– Virginio Merola, Mayor of Bologna.


Read Bologna's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Bologna is tackling urban diabetes


"The recent signing of the Urban Diabetes Declaration confirms the commitment of our administration to accelerate the prevention of type 2 diabetes and its complications in our city, in line with the objectives of the international project. It is therefore a matter of pride to join the thirty-five metropolises around the world and to commit to respecting five guiding principles to meet the challenge of urban diabetes: investing in the promotion of long-term health and well-being, acting on social and cultural determinants and fighting for equity in health, integrating health into all policies, actively involving communities to ensure sustainable health solutions and creating solutions in partnership between sectors."

– Marco Bucci, Mayor of Genoa.


Read Genoa's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Genoa is tackling urban diabetes

“Diabetes affects all Houstonians – our families, our communities, our schools, our workplaces, our places of worship and ultimately our economy. It is an epidemic that has enormous financial and human costs. As leaders who care about Houston, we owe it to our community to do all that we can to help them prevent it. When we in Houston put our mind to something, we get it done. It is through community-wide initiatives and public-private partnerships like Cities Changing Diabetes—Houston that Houston gets its best work done, and I am highly motivated to continue supporting this program.”

– Mayor Sylvester Turner


Read Houston's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Houston is tackling urban diabetes

Learn more on how Lisbon is tackling urban diabetes

Watch below Dr Manuel Grilo, Councilor for Education and Social Affairs, Municipality of Lisbon, expressing his support to the Urban Diabetes Declaration.

“Cities Changing Diabetes has been promoted to enhance the prevention of chronic diseases, particularly of diabetes, caused by the impact of urbanization. It’s necessary that policymakers be more sensible on urban health topics and find better prevention policies and improve the care network.”

– Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan.


Read Milan's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Milan is tackling urban diabetes

“Within the Cities Changing Diabetes programme, Rome was the first city to present a passport with urban and tourist itineraries to visit specific areas by walking through the city. Walking is healthy, and this administration is proud of contributing to making Rome the first walking city by developing 74 itineraries which cover a total of 460 km of well-being by encouraging exercise and healthy activities.  The Urban Diabetes Declaration is the commitment of the city of Rome to face the challenges related to obesity and diabetes”

– Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome.


Read Rome's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Rome is tackling urban diabetes


"With the signing of the Urban Diabetes Declaration, the City of Turin continues its commitment as an urban laboratory for the testing and development of innovative technologies, the use of which can help protect the environment, promote the development of sustainable mobility and, in fact, making the city more liveable. The collaboration between public and private is not only relevant for the experimentation of new services and smart technologies applicable on a large scale and in the urban environment, but also represents an important lever for the economy of a territory like ours, which can boast a know-how unique how."

– Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin.


Read Turin's Urban Diabetes Declaration

Learn more on how Turin is tackling urban diabetes

Download the Urban Diabetes Declaration and use it to help you get access to new stakeholders and get your city’s commitment to join Cities Changing Diabetes.
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Download the Urban Diabetes Declaration and use it to help you get access to new stakeholders and get your city’s commitment to join Cities Changing Diabetes.