The Network is overseen by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European division and is the cornerstone of the European Healthy Cities movement. WHO provides the Network with political, strategic and technical support.

The European Network’s motto: “Think globally, act locally”

The WHO European Healthy Cities Network believes that cities and local authorities are essential in refocusing urban planning policies on residents’ needs, opinions and the planet. That is why the Network strives to make health a priority in town and city sectoral policies.   

The Network began with several towns and cities and has grown over the years. Its European framework operates in phases and changes every five years. The Healthy Cities Network was created in France in 1990.

The main objective: improve health and well-being for all city dwellers

The European Healthy Cities Network aims to guide and provide support for implementing the “Health for All” strategy and health promotion principles. The Network adopts an inclusive and participative tried-and-tested approach and supports science-based initiatives. 

The current phase VII (2019-2024) was launched after the signature of the Copenhagen Consensus in 2018 which outlines several objectives:

  • promote health and well-being for all, and reduce health care inequalities
  • develop urban areas whilst protecting the planet
  • include and engage city dwellers
  • promote access to communal equipment and services

All these objectives are geared to adhere to the implementation of the WHO’s strategic priorities.

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Article updated on 12/08/22