Belfast Healthy Cities, established in 1988, was the first strategic partnership in the city. Belfast also joined the WHO European Healthy Cities Network that year, among the initial 15 cities to be formally designated as WHO Healthy Cities. In 2013 the membership stands at 99 with the application to become a member made at the highest political level in the city.
At the time Belfast Healthy Cities introduced an entirely new approach to addressing health inequalities within the city, and the Healthy Cities partnership was created as a formal structure to support this. Its appeal was its focus on health being the responsibility of all sectors, which was considered key to addressing the social determinants of health and inequalities in health.
Belfast has been designated to each of the five phases of the Healthy Cities network and as a result new concepts have been introduced to the city. Belfast Healthy Cities has had significant influence on policy and action in working with other sectors and departments in the areas of health, inequities and wellbeing.
Belfast Healthy Cities provide best evidence and research on how the health of a city can be improved. With a small but very effective team, their work together with city stakeholders over the past 25 years has had far reaching influence on the shaping of health and wellbeing strategy in Belfast and beyond.
More information about Belfast as a WHO European Healthy City can be found in the publication below.