The annual Healthy City Explorer Bursary was launched as part of Belfast Healthy Cities’ 25 anniversary celebrations. It supports a study visit to a European Healthy City or Network to explore their approach to addressing a key issue relating to health inequalities.
Belfast is one of a small number of cities to be designated during every phase of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network and also fulfills the role of WHO Secretariat to the Network.
There are almost 100 European Healthy Cities, including Udine, Italy; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Stavropol, Russian Federation. National networks include Croatia, Denmark, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Phase VI (2014-2018) is a unique time in the life of the networks, a new WHO European health policy and strategy, Health 2020 is being implemented with the city at its heart as the place for developing and delivering new ideas.
Suggested topics for study include early life; older people; health literacy; physical activity; nutrition and obesity; alcohol; tobacco; mental well-being; health and social services; public health capacity; healthy urban planning and design; transport; the health impacts of climate change and housing and regeneration.
Other proposals, which address the four priority themes for the Phase VI (2014-2018), will also be considered.
• life course and empowering people;
• tackling public health problems;
• strengthening people centred health systems and public health capacity;
• creating resilient communities and supportive environments.
Following the visit, the bursary holder will share their learning as widely as possible, for example, within their own organisation, across relevant networks and at the Belfast Healthy Cities Annual General Meeting. The successful applicant will clearly demonstrate the added value of a study visit to their own work and raise awareness of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network Phase VI priorities. The bursary is open to applicants from the community, voluntary, public and business sectors.