The flagship cities of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network are centres of good practice. Healthy cities share a vision for urban health, in which cities put people and their health and well-being at the centre of all their policies and actions.
Healthy cities are in a unique position to learn from each other, sharing knowledge, insight and inspiration in a spirit of solidarity. Being a healthy city also means having a special bond with WHO/Europe, with direct access to training, meetings and advice.
These networks are the backbone of the Healthy Cities movement in the WHO European Region. They provide political, strategic and technical support to their members, represent a national resource of experience and expertise in health development and offer a dynamic platform for public health advocacy at the national and international levels.
Each national network is unique. Each develops in response to the needs of its member cities, according to the resources available and within its own cultural and legal framework.
National networks can support the development and implementation of country strategies for health promotion, noncommunicable disease prevention, and environment and health.
A common set of accreditation criteria for national networks and member cities provides a quality standard and a source of international legitimacy for all stakeholders in a national network.