City health development plans

WHO/Europe works directly with municipal governments to develop and implement intersectoral strategies and plans for health development at the local level. A city health development plan has been a requirement for member cities of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network since 1998.

A city health development plan is a strategy document that contains a comprehensive picture of a city’s concrete and systematic efforts for health development. It contains the city’s vision and values and a strategy for achievement. Its political purpose is to demonstrate that health is a core value for the city administration, and further that the vision, values and strategy are translated into action through operational planning. A city health development plan puts increased emphasis on the social, environmental and economic determinants of health.

A city health development plan draws on the contribution of the many different statutory and nonstatutory sectors and agencies whose policies and activities influence health. It emphasizes these actors’ roles in working to improve health and the quality of life.