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ISSN: 2690-5760

Journal of Clinical & Community Medicine

OpinionOpen Access

Public Health Leadership in Emerging Global Cities Volume 1 - Issue 4

Dr Justin Varney*

  • Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Received: February 10, 2020   Published: February 19, 2020

Corresponding author: Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, United Kingdom


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The growing number of global cities present a new paradigm for domestic public health practice which requires thinking at scale and pace within an international context of population belief patterns and a looming threat of global risk transmission along economic and recreational transport corridors. This expert opinion piece reflects on this emerging paradigm through the perspective of the director of public health at Birmingham, England’s second city.

Article Highlights

I. Public health is a discipline dedicated to protecting and improve the health and wellbeing of populations.

II. Cities present unique challenges to public health in terms of scale and the multiple operational levels of individual, families, communities and layering of place.

III. Global cities present additional challenges to public health because of the duality of narratives experienced by citizens that drive beliefs and behaviors as well as increased complexities of migration and trade.

IV. Responding to these challenges presents a new paradigm for public health which requires triangulation of global, regional and local factors and upstream action at a system level to achieve sustainable change at scale.

V. This new paradigm requires a public health leadership workforce that is fluent in global cultural and political contexts of health promotion and is supported by more global networks to support action as well as shared learning.

Keywords: Public Health; Cities; Globalization; Active transport; Food Systems; Birmingham; Ethnic minority health

Abstract| Article Highlights| Introduction| Public Health Practice| Global Cities| Birmingham Contexts| Reflections on Public Health Leadership in a Global City| Implications for the Future| Competing Interests| References|