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The Healthy Cities approach values the importance of health and well-being in the decision making and activities of cities. It acts as a framework for strategic planning, activities and assessment of a city. The principles are based in the Health for all strategy and Local Agenda 21. Based on these, a strong value is given to equity, participatory governance and solidarity, multisectoral cooperation and actions concentrated on the determinants of health (Source: Dahlgren G. and Whitehead M. 1991. Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Stockholm, Institute for Futures Studies).

Healthy Cities Programme in Europe has run since 1987 over five year phases. Each phase has paid attention to particular themes. Phase IV (2003-2008) had three core themes: healthy urban planning, health impact assessment and healthy ageing. Physical activity/ active living is a complementary theme of the phase IV.

On the meeting in Zagreb, September 2008, the Healthy Cities agreed on plans and priorities for Phase V (2009-2013) of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network. The overarching theme for Phase V is health and health equity in all local policies. The core themes are: caring and supportive environments, healthy living and health urban environment and design. To be members of the Healthy Cities Network in Phase V cities have to be designated by WHO after submitting the application.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2016 10:42