Annual Healthy Cities Business and Technical Conference 2015 - Political choices for healthy cities

24-26 June 2015, Kuopio, Finland

The City of Kuopio hosted the First Annual Technical and Business Conference of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network and Network of European National Healthy Cities Networks in Phase VI (2014–2018), with 302 participants from 33 countries, including representatives from 65 cities and 17 national networks.

The overarching theme of the Conference was political choices for healthy cities, and the theme was explored through three main thematic strands that reflected the Phase VI themes and priority issues:

  • city health diplomacy and reaching out to other sectors;
  • equity, resilience and the life-course, with a special focus on the health of women and 
    older people; and
  • healthy urban planning and urban innovation and technology, with a special focus on 
    physical activity and active living in general.

A special feature of the Conference was dedicating significant time for learning and training for various groups of key city actors, to support capacity-building for delivery.

The objectives of the Conference were:

  • to debate and explore the challenges of making local political choices for health;
  • to demonstrate the importance of intersectoral action for improving health and well-being at the local and urban levels, especially in relation to equity, vulnerability and creating supportive environments for health;
  • to learn from innovative and good practices of healthy cities and national networks; and
  • to build capacity to support key city actors in delivering actions for improved health outcomes and to consider supporting substructures for Phase VI delivery.

The Conference had a rich programme and provided a series of interactive innovative training sessions using a variety of formats to promote learning and skills development, to support cities and national networks in delivering action on the goals and requirements of Phase VI.