Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic

I-III/2017 (EN)

Information and updates

The Motto of the World Health Day 2017 is "Depression: Let´s talk"

With the World Health Organization founded on 7 April 1948, the World Health Day is celebrated annually to honour the anniversary of its founding. Various campaigns are taking place worldwide focusing primarily on preventing disease and improving the quality of life. The focus of the World Health Day 2017 is depression. As usual, this year's campaign will be organized mainly by Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions.

In 2015, the number of people suffering from depression worldwide increased by over 18 percent compared to 2005. Two years ago, depression affected 4,4 percent of the global population, i.e. 300 million of people of all ages. According to the WHO, approximately 5 percent of population suffer from depressive disorder in the Czech Republic. Depression contributes substantially to suicide rate which reaches up to 800 000 as indicated by the WHO estimates.

The World Health Organization attributes the rising number of depression cases largely to global population growth and population ageing because depression is more common in older generations. Depression is usually characterized by persistent sadness, anxiety, apathy and mental suffering. In addition, people with depression have their social lives devastated as they are unable to carry out their professional and family duties.

Although there are effective treatments for depression, about half of the people affected in the world do not receive such treatment due to a lack of resources and health-care providers, misdiagnosis and social stigma associated with mental disorders. In a number of countries, fewer than 10 percent of people with depression are given the treatment they need.

The motto of the World Health Day 2017 is "Depression: Let's talk".

For those who are interested in this issue, the WHO has prepared a range of posters, handouts and campaign material available here:

Healthy Cities Spring School brought inspiration for sustainable development and the quality of life

On Wednesday 22 March, Trebic Healthy City hosted an introductory seminar of the Healthy Cities Spring School – a regular meeting of representatives of municipalities from all over the Czech Republic. The meeting was attended by more than 130 representatives of cities, town and regions and cooperating organizations as well.

The main themes of the seminar included financial resources, quality of local authorities, sustainable development, socially responsible purchasing, cooperation of municipalities with young people, community engagement of older people, revitalization of urban parks and offers to create emotional maps etc.

The chairwoman of the LA21 Working group of the Government Council for Sustainable Development of the Czech Republic Marie Petrova from the Ministry of the Environment gave the participants an update on the local Agenda 21 (LA21) both at national and international levels. She reported on the Strategic framework of the Czech Republic for 2030 and the planned calls for proposals of the National Environmental Programme aimed at LA21, the Covenant of Mayors, and adaptation to climate change and financial tools to be used to deal with this issue.

The hosting city of Trebic presented not only the history of the city and its sights but also outlined the approach of the Town Hall to socially responsible purchasing. The representatives of the Healthy Vysocina Region reported on its grants and its health promotion activities.

Once the participants introduced themselves, the Healthy Cities director Petr Svec took the floor to present the latest developments of the association and a broad portfolio of services provided to its members. He also highlighted the methodological and implementation support of the Healthy Cities team in the area of integration of tools and methodologies aimed at the practical implementation of the principles of sustainable development and positive impacts on the long-term quality of life in municipalities and regions.

The afternoon session was devoted to possibilities of obtaining financial resources. At this session, the representatives of the Via Foundation and the Promeny Foundation presented the grant schemes aimed to support community life, transformations of urban spaces and education of the public. The Erasmus+ Programme offered possibilities of grants not only for youth. The representative of the School for Sustainable Life Programme reported on the support of locally embedded learning.

During the session devoted to the exchange of ideas, the representatives of Healthy Cities and Towns of Litomerice, Krizanky, Znojmo and Prague 12 Municipal District explored inspirational approaches to themes such as cooperation of cities with young generation in the form of School Fora, community engagement of the elderly, park revitalization, the AntifetFest anti-drug film festival. The representative of the Opavsko Local Action Group informed the participants of the upcoming project called “From vulnerability to resilience” and invited them to join actively.

The afternoon session ended with two optional sessions – one session devoted to consultations for Healthy Cities “beginners” and the other was devoted to the theme of emotional maps.

The themes of the three parallel intensive training sessions, which took place the following days, were communication with the public, time management and an annual work plan for coordinators, and a Healthy City and LA21 “for beginners”. All courses involved hands-on skills training, including a set of methodological recommendations and practical examples. The final day was devoted to practical training in using the Healthy Cities Dataplan information system and the use of social networks in Healthy Cities.

We thank all the speakers and participants for creating an inspirational atmosphere. We also thank the hosting Healthy City of Trebic for perfect organization of the whole event.

The presentations and photos are available HERE

Healthy Municipal Districts shared their Good Practice at a friendly meeting

The meeting of Healthy Municipal Districts took place on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at Prague City Hall. The event was aimed at sharing good practices concerning sustainable development in Prague municipal districts and discussing the possibilities of cooperation.

The meeting was opened by the Healthy Cities director Petr Svec who welcomed more than seventy participants. The Head of the WHO Country Office in Prague Alena Steflová reported on the 6th Ministerial Health and Environment Conference held in mid-June in Ostrava. One of the central conference themes will be the role of cities and towns and the possibilities of enhancing their influence on various areas of development. She noted that Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions were the carriers and drivers of change and thanked the Healthy Cities representatives for their support of the WHO. Petr Svec gave a presentation of the services and activities of the association and described tools and methodologies available for the representatives of cities and towns. Other themes included Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030, and existing resources for effective and good public administration.

Petra Kolinska, Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague welcomed the participants at Prague City Hall. She was pleased that twelve municipal districts were involved in the Healthy City Project. On this occasion, she announced that she was taking over the political agenda related to the Healthy Prague Project and stated that she was fully committed to building sufficient capacity for the implementation of this project. The opening session was closed by Jindřich Exner, the coordinator of the Healthy Prague Project. He acquainted the participants with the Prague City Hall grant scheme aimed at municipal districts to support health promotion and LA21. Furthermore, he informed the participants about a meeting for coordinators to evaluate the past year and to set new rules.

The following session devoted to good practices was opened by the Prague 8 coordinator Iva Hajkova. The Healthy Municipal Districts representatives of Prague 4, Prague 7, Prague 8 and Prague 12 covered the themes such as public engagement in devising the public spaces master plan, Fair Trade Municipal District, support of entrepreneurship of municipal districts and the methods of communication with the public. The Prague 8 Municipal District received the “Good Practice” award for obtaining the title of Fair Trade Municipal District. The introductory part of the afternoon session addressed the theme of participatory budgeting. Participatory budgeting means involvement of local residents in making decisions on the use of a part of the budget to implement specific projects. This method has gained in popularity in the Czech Republic in recent years. The approach of Healthy Cities is exceptional in that participatory budgeting has become another vital component, which fits functionally into systemic year-long work of cities - into a long-term community planning process of sustainable development.

The presentations from Prague-Libus, Prague-Dolni Pocernice and Prague 21 focused on good practice examples, including themes such as integration activities and youth municipal council, fulfillment of LA21 Category C criteria, and Sustainable development assessment through Green development audits. At the end of the conference, a discussion ensued on the topics and themes presented and on other areas or issues which the representatives of Prague Municipal Districts deal with in their daily practice.

The presentations and photos are available

The event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided to the project implementation from the Operational Programme “Employment”.

WHO Healthy Cities are getting ready to celebrate the 30th anniversary! The WHO Conference 2017 in the City of Pecs in Hungary looked back at existing activities and new themes

The theme of the conference, which took place on 1–3 March 2017 in the City of Pecs in Hungary, was the World Health Organization program Healthy Cities as pathways to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Cities where equity, participation and governance are integrated across all activities and procedures. The conference was also dedicated to preparations for 2018, which will mark 30 years of the programme – one of the oldest international initiatives aimed at cities – and will set the criteria and explore the political vision for the period of 2018-2022.

The three-day event offered dozens of interesting and inspirational contributions from experts and practitioners from international institutions and organizations (WHO, OECD etc.), from universities, and from representatives of cities, towns and regions and their networks on the following themes:

- Development and integration of approaches of the WHO Healthy City/Region program;
- transport, environment and health;
- migration and refugee health;
- healthy and active ageing;
- equity and gender;
- early childhood development and youth involvement
and many other subthemes.

The conference brought together over 200 participants from all over Europe. The parallel sessions offered many lectures, roundtables and workshops. Throughout the conference there were discussions on effective partnerships across sectors and levels of public administration, and on the best ways of integration of health and sustainability with key strategic themes of political leadership of cities and towns. The conference looked at other themes such as climate change and its health impacts, fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), urban planning, communication, use of data and indicators, and many other themes.

The Czech Republic was represented by the National Healthy Cities Network of the Czech Republic with its presentation of the methodological approach and integration of methods and tools to implement sustainable development and the quality of life (LA21, CSR, relevant ISO norms etc.). Healthy Cities highlighted the importance of open sharing of good practices and procedures, active use of data and in particular methodological cooperation with its members. Litomerice Healthy City was widely acclaimed for the theme of School and Youth Fora as one of the essential elements in systemic public involvement. The representatives of Brno Healthy City and Healthy Vysocina Region played also an active part in presenting their practice.

For more information about the event:

Translated texts can be found also here:

Healthy Cities Thematic Section focused on strategic management and quality

On Wednesday 22 February 2017, Novotneho lavka in Prague hosted the Healthy Cities Thematic section focused on strategic management and quality methods in public administration. With over 60 participants, the event covered the issues of quality and strategic planning and management from the perspective of national institutions and included presentations of practical experience and good practice examples from Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic.

The introductory session dealt with the strategy for using European subsidies and the Czechia 2030 strategic framework, which is an outcome of a broad participatory process. The session was closed by the Healthy Cities director Petr Svec who presented the association and its services. He also mentioned the new Methodology for sustainable development assessment of cities and an online system for presenting the results of Self-assessing sustainable development audits according to various themes (e.g. public administration, transport, environment, social area) in particular cities. This online system was developed by Healthy Cities and the data is entered into the system by cities themselves. It enables not only to keep records of sustainable development assessment or to hold expert discussions, but also benchmarking and links to good practice on the portal of the Sustainable Development Gallery. Tomas Hak from the Centre for the Environment of Charles University pointed out that the new Methodology was a unique document also at European level and could serve as inspiration for foreign partners.

The session of practical examples from cities was introduced by Roman Fiser, the representative of Czech Institute for Effective Management and a Healthy Cities expert consultant who provided an update on a new Healthy Cities service – Portfolio of quality management systems integration. One of its purposes is to integrate and enhance synergy between the LA21 method and other methods. The secretary of BENESOV Healthy City Miluse Stiburkova described procedures and outcomes of the integration of ISO 9001: 2016, EFQM and LA21 in practice. She stressed that implementation and development of integrated quality management must be adequately staffed, officials must be motivated and that it was also necessary to gain the support of political leaders in various cities. Jaroslav Klusak, the LITOMERICE energy manager provided practical examples of the real estate passport as a transparent tool of urban property management. Directly linked to the Energy Savings Fund, the passport is an integral part of energy management and is directly connected to its efficient and economical management. These examples, available in the Sustainable Development Gallery, earned both Healthy Cities the “Good practice” award (Benesov: Integration of Q methodology, Litomerice: Real estate passport and Energy Savings Fund.

An important part of the event was the presentations of ministries which are responsible for the above-mentioned themes including their funding. The delegates described a new analysis of the burden of local authorities in terms of data collection, Methodological guidelines on quality, and the competition for the friendliest local authority. One of the representatives invited the participants to attend the forthcoming Modern Public Administration Conference 2017 held between 1-2 June in Brno. The delegates also covered other topics including the recent e-government activities, impact of the planned activities on the functioning of municipalities and their agendas, and the Methodology for management of municipal authorities with delegated powers. The event was closed with the presentations on the current and planned calls for proposals under the Operational Programme Employment to support the activities of municipalities including the quality management.

The presentations and photos from the event are available HERE.

The Newsletter is published by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, contact: HCCZ Office.
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The photographs used come from the HCCZ and its members archives.
© HCCZ, 2017

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