People first: The future of cities post-COVID 

illustration of people first city

New release:
How can we bridge the health equity gap to create “people-first cities”?

People across the planet are grappling with the effects of multiple overlapping challenges. COVID-19, climate change, social inequality, supply-chain disruptions, persistently high inflation and the probability of recession pose significant obstacles to advancing healthy societies and building climate resilience.

Cities concentrate these challenges but may also hold the key to overcoming them.

Although cultural shifts have altered the way we live and work, cities continue to flourish. Today, more than half the world’s population (55%) lives in cities, up from just 30% in 1950. And by 2050, this figure is expected to soar to 70%, with an estimated 2.5 billion people migrating to urban areas over the next 20 years.

Despite speculation, cities will be the centers of wealth, prosperity, creativity, and innovation.

Employees are calling for healthier societies that support well-being

In the post-COVID environment and a “continuous crisis” era, workers are increasingly seeking assistance and turning to their employers for support. Prioritizing the health and well-being of all employees is now crucial.

Businesses have an opportunity to address economic, social, health and financial inequalities.

A concentrated urban population means a concentration of economic and societal issues. Today, two out of three major cities expect climate change to seriously compromise their public health services.

Providing a wide range of benefits is no longer enough. Most people want to work for companies that have a positive impact on the world. According to Paul Polman’s Net Positive Employee Barometer: from quiet quitting to conscious quitting, nearly half of employees say they would consider resigning if the company’s values don’t align with their own.

Our response: Use employee benefits as an expression of your company’s values. 

Discover how investing in employee health and well-being is the right thing to do for your business and society in our final article, which includes:

  • Insight from mercer’s latest Health on demand study: A global survey understanding how workforce needs and attitudes around employee benefits are changing in response to 21st century issues

  • Unique perspectives from our discussion on how businesses can improve the lives of everyone they touch for a steep boost in long-term shareholder returns (with Paul Polman, Unilever CEO from 2009–2019, business leader, campaigner and co-author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take)

Stay tuned! There’s more to come from Mercer and our Marsh McLennan colleagues.

About the author(s)
Samira Elasmar

As the Growth & Market Expansion leader at Mercer, my primary objective is to drive growth initiatives with a strong emphasis on expanding into new markets and cities. Central to my role is the understanding of the challenges faced by clients at local and global levels, enabling me to translate that understanding into concrete solutions. By deeply comprehending the specific needs and intricacies of each market and city, we at Mercer are committed to delivering tailored solutions that effectively address our clients' needs, empowering them to thrive in their unique environments. Through these actions, we not only achieve sustainable growth but also position Mercer and Marsh McLennan as industry leaders, known for our ability to meet clients' needs and exceed their expectations.

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