WHO/Europe has agreements with several countries to work on urban health in the context of the health system.

Its work on urban health, however, centres on local governments across the WHO European Region through the WHO European Healthy Cities Network. Phase V of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network prioritizes health and health equity in all local policies.

Cities focus on three core themes:

  • caring and supportive environments
  • healthy living
  • healthy urban design.

Phase V is supported by the Zagreb Declaration for Healthy Cities.

An important aspect of the WHO Healthy Cities project is that it focuseson the whole community, with its strengths and problems, rather than being established under single issues or diseases such as tobacco or cancer. As people working or living in cities are aware, however, certain health topics are of particular concern to the residents and therefore to the policy-makers of urban areas. WHO/Europe’s programmes and publications cover many of these topics.