More than half the world’s population lives in cities and two thirds of 425 million people with diabetes live in cities. That makes cities a focal point for tackling diabetes. As part of Cities Changing Diabetes (CCD) five diverse cities (Copenhagen, Houston, Mexico City, Shanghai, Tianjin) have implemented actions based on 740 individual interviews with people with type 2 diabetes or at increased risk of developing it. Based on participants’ perspectives on socio-cultural barriers to live a healthy life action plans were created relevant to the local diabetes challenge and city context and tailor-made interventions were designed. CCD is a partnership between Novo Nordisk A/S, University College London, and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen aiming to map the diabetes challenge, understand risk and vulnerability to type 2 diabetes, and design interventions tailor-made to the respective city context. In the cities the program is driven by local partnerships in a collaborative working approach bringing together city governments, academics, businesses, city planners, patient organizations, faith-based organizations, and other non-governmental organizations. The research insights led to four arenas for impactful interventions: Health promoting policies by incorporating awareness and understanding of type 2 diabetes into local policies to address the diabetes challenge and improve overall health. Urban planning by integrating health-promoting aspects such as walkability and bikeability in urban planning to increase the ability to live a healthy life. Community involvement by strengthening communities around citizens vulnerable to diabetes to build resilience, improve diabetes care and quality of life. Health system strengthening by building capacity into the local healthcare system to help vulnerable citizens to access it.

In conclusion, insights from the research have directly guided development of city-specific tailor-made interventions within four arenas.


A. Napier: Consultant; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. N. Lund: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. M. Bagger: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Stock/Shareholder; Spouse/Partner; Novo Nordisk A/S. B.B. Jensen: None.

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