The WHO European Healthy Cities Network is a network of flagship cities and national networks of cities. Flagship cities interact directly with WHO/Europe, while national networks bring together cities in a given Member State. In both cases WHO provides political, strategic and technical support as well as capacity building.
Currently, 85 cities and 20 national networks from around the WHO European Region are active members of the network.
WHO Healthy Cities is a global movement working to put health high on the social, economic and political agenda of city governments. Launched by WHO in 1988 to be a strategic vehicle for implementing the ‘Health for All’ strategy at local level, over the past 30 years the Network has operated in phases with specific goals and themes that have reflected its priorities and strategies. Each phase’s goals and themes have been underpinned by a commitment to address equity, the determinants of health and sustainable development.
The network’s principal objective is to improve the health and well-being of all. The network works to achieve this by taking an inclusive and participatory approach to health promotion. It focuses specifically on using an evidence-based approach and disaggregated city-level health data to target vulnerable populations and improve equity.
In Phase VII (2019-2025) the Network has prioritized three goals, which are based on the Copenhagen Consensus of Mayors adopted in 2018:
• To foster health and well-being for all and reduce health inequities.
• To lead by example nationally, regionally, and globally.
• To support implementation of WHO’s strategic priorities.
These goals are aligned with WHO’s 13th Global Programme of Work, the European Programme of Work (2020-2025) and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Database of case studies. The secretariat is currently developing a database of case studies shared within the network between 2010 and 2021. The database will allow cities and national networks to share good practices and will support peer-to-peer learning.
Specific health topics. Through sub-network working groups the Network works on a variety of health topics with WHO experts. For example, the Urban Preparedness working group, an interagency collaboration with UN Habitat, will collect lessons learned from the pandemic response and produce a publication to enhance emergency preparedness and resilience.
“Please contact the WHO Europe Healthy Cities for further information on how to become a member.”
Phone: +45 45337000
Regional Focal Point: Dr Nino Berdzuli, Director, Country Health Programmes.
Secretariat: Hanna Dunning, Jesus Castro.