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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities Network

The WHO European Healthy Cities Network consists of cities around the WHO European Region that are committed to health and sustainable development. They are also linked through national, regional, metropolitan and thematic Healthy Cities networks. A city joins the WHO European Healthy Cities Network based on criteria that are renewed every five years.

Each five-year phase focuses on core priority themes and is launched with a political declaration and a set of strategic goals. The strategic directon of Phase VII (2019-2024) is defined by the pursuit of the following 3 goals based on the Copenhagen Consensus of Mayors:

Goal 1: Fostering health and well-being for all and reducing health inequities 

Goal 2: Leading by example nationally, regionally and globally

Goal 3: Supporting implementation of WHO strategic priorities

with a focus on the following themes

  • investing in the people who make up our cities;
  • designing urban places that improve health and well-being;
  • fostering greater participation and partnerships for health and well-being;
  • improving community prosperity and access to common goods and services;
  • promoting peace and security through inclusive societies; and 
  • protecting the planet from degradation, including through sustainable comsumption and production 

More information is available from the WHO Regional Office for Europe website.

WHO Healthy Cities Network bringing wider experience and best practice to Belfast

Belfast Healthy Cities reinforces that health is a responsibility for all sectors, which is key to addressing the social determinants of health and inequalities in health.

Having been designated to each of the phases of the Healthy Cities network, Belfast has introduced new ways of working and concepts 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 well-being.

Belfast Healthy Cities provides best practice and evidence on how the health of a city can be improved and this has influenced shaping of health and well-being strategy in Belfast and beyond.

Download Phase VII (2019-2024) of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network: goals and requirements

Phase VII Application Process

In November 2019, Belfast’s then Lord Mayor, Cllr John Finucane, gave his coninued support to Belfast’s application to be a member of Phase VII (2019-2024) of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities Network at a workshop involving key players across all sectors in the city and Northern Ireland.  The workshop looked at the themes for Phase VII which will form part of the application.  

Another essential element of the application is the Situational Analysis. The Situational Analysis looks at the action and gaps across the city on the six themes of People; Place; Participation; Prosperity; Peace; and Planet, with a view to the gaps being the city’s priorities for delivery during Phase VII. 

We thank all our colleagues and stakeholders who took part in the process interviews and the workshop for their valuable assistance in shaping the Situational Analysis.  An Executive Summary is also available.