Coming today: Liveblog from “Cities and Women’s Health” Conference

A team of bloggers from Next American City will attend “Cities and Women’s Health: Global Perspectives.” Between now and April 10, we’ll fill you in on the conference’s proceedings and its best findings and takeaways.

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From April 7 to 10, a team of five bloggers from Next American City will liveblog the proceedings of “Cities and Women’s Health: Global Perspectives,” the 18th Congress on Women’s Health Issues, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and ICOWHI, the International Council on Women’s Health Issues. We’ll be attending each day of the conference and writing both reports and commentary. The blog will be hosted here; check back after 3 p.m. for updates.

Here is an overview of the conference, provided on its website, where you can also find an agenda and speaker information:

Although much is known about the health of women, the practice of public health and the health impact of living in urban environments—less is known about the intersection of these three subjects: urban women’s health. Urban populations are growing at an unprecedented pace. Life in an urban environment with all of its specific social and structural characteristics has undeniable impact on the health and well-being of urban populations, especially of urban women who suffer the most from environmental degradation and lack of essential health services. Amidst the issues surrounding global urban development, we are only beginning to understand that women often bear the heavier burden of these problems due to gender inequities in society, more limited education than men, and a general lack of awareness among urban developers and policy makers of the unique needs of urban women.

In addition, women face myriad health issues with gender-specific influences and which are best served by gender-specific responses including cancer, obesity, hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and depression. These issues are often exacerbated by challenges that all urban dwellers face, including air, water and land pollution; sedentary lifestyles and diminished space and opportunities for physical activity; traffic accidents; exposure to stress and violence; and limited access to healthy and fresh foods.

The overall purpose of this leading edge, solution driven conference is to establish a dialogue about contemporary issues that women face in cities that impact their health and life experiences. National and international participants will be actively involved in three days of dialogue, planning and networking in response to keynote and panel presentations. Expert speakers in the fields of urban design, health sciences, health policy, law, social policy, education and sociology among others will identify and critically analyze best practices and new strategies to enhance women’s health in cities as well as foster new paradigms of scholarship and practice that integrate environment and health care.

The blogging team from Next American City includes:

Margaret Eby: Margaret has written for Salon, Interview Magazine, Bookforum, and The New York Times Local blog, among other publications. She lives in New York .

Rachel Somerstein: Rachel is a Staff Writer for Next American City. She has written for both the print magazine and the website, and most recently covered Austin’s new light rail system.

Mara D’Angelo: Mara is currently a Policy Analyst with Smart Growth America, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to creating more livable communities. There, she works on urban policy issues including revitalizing older industrial cities, redeveloping vacant properties, and preserving affordable housing. You can read her contributions to SGA’s blog here.

Karin Dryhurst: Karin Dryhurst works as a communications associate for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, where she helps shape online media
strategy, conducts research on urban media markets, and contributes regular commentary and news aggregation to the DMIBlog, weighing in on
public policy trends affecting U.S. cities and the changing nature of the metro media landscape. She has written for The Miami Herald, the Greensboro News & Record, and Under the Dome, the state politics blog of the Raleigh News & Observer.

Katie Drummond: Katie is a health and science reporter at AOL News and covers military medical news and research at Wired’s Danger Room. Her work has recently been published in Marie Claire, World Politics Review and Next American City.

More to come later today!

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