Global Cities Changing Diabetes Initiative Comes to Vancouver

Around the world, and in Canada's very own backyard, cities commit to urban change to address high prevalence of diabetes

VANCOUVER, Dec. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Urban populations are increasing, and as long as current city planning processes continue, the number of people living with diabetes will continue to rise along with associated healthcare expenses. As a company, Novo Nordisk is committed to creating urgent action to curb the urban diabetes epidemic through partnerships with multiple stakeholders who share a common goal of making cities healthier places to live.

Recently, the City of Vancouver has confirmed its participation in the Cities Changing Diabetes initiative; a commitment to push for urgent action against urban diabetes on a global scale.

Vancouver joins other leading cities currently participating in the Cities Changing Diabetes initiative, including Copenhagen, Houston, Mexico City, Shanghai and Tianjin. Additional cities are expected to join in 2016.

"By working with local partners and learning from other cities, Vancouver recognizes that good planning and city building play an important role in improving health outcomes for residents," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Walkable neighbourhoods, safer cycling, access to healthy local food and recreation opportunities all play a critical role in preventing diabetes, and create a more livable and healthy city for all of us."

About Cities Changing Diabetes
Today, nearly two thirds of the 415 million people with diabetes live in cities. If this trend continues, by 2035 as many as half a billion people will have diabetes – nearly all of them in cities.1 Urban diabetes is an emergency in slow motion. But its growth is not inevitable. Cities Changing Diabetes is a commitment to pushing for urgent action against urban diabetes on a global scale. The aim is to map its extent, share solutions and tackle the growing challenge of diabetes in the world's great cities, including Vancouver, because there is a belief that when businesses, city leaders and planners, healthcare professionals, academics, and community leaders pull together, cities can transform into healthier places to live, work and play – and bring down the risk of urban diabetes.

Cities Changing Diabetes Aims to:

  1. Put urban diabetes at the top of the global healthcare agenda. Experience has shown that it is possible to have great impact on the rise of a potentially devastating disease when healthcare systems are mobilized to see it as an urgent priority. By putting the spotlight on the scale and urgency of the issue in many cities across the world, we can help health systems to prioritize the challenge of urban diabetes.
  2. Put it on the agenda of those designing and managing cities for the future. Urban planning has an important role to play in delivering health improvements in the way it designs and reshapes our cities. By helping those who design and manage cities to understand the dynamics of urban diabetes, we can equip them to develop healthier cities for the future.


Today, not enough is known about the dynamics of how urban development can drive diabetes, and how to deliver the potential health benefits that city living can bring. Much is being done on the ground in urban areas to tackle diabetes. The opportunity is to bring together learning from that activity to get a clearer understanding of what needs doing and to underpin future strategy and action.

To learn more, visit


1 IDF Diabetes Atlas. International Diabetes Federation 2013. 6th edition, page 11. Available at: Accessed November 2015.

SOURCE Cities Changing Diabetes

For further information: Media: Amanda Federchuk, 1 416 486 7231,; Jeremy Brace, 1 416 454 7556,; Katrine Sperling, +45 4442 6718,; Investors: Peter Hugreffe Ankersen, +45 3075 9085,; Melanie Raouzeos, +45 3075 3479,; Daniel Bohsen, +45 3079 6376,; Frank Daniel Mersebach (US), +1 609 235 8567,

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