On 12th – 13th February 2018 a major WHO European Healthy Cities Network Summit of Mayors took place. The event was hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, bringing together 43 mayors of European cities, alongside 85 high-level political representatives, advisors and civic representatives from all over the world. The National Network of Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic was represented as well.
The gathering was geared towards discussing the sustainability of cities, the role of health and citizens' quality of life with a strong emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Political representatives, experts and academics from the European Regions and beyond covered the following topics:
- health literacy
- mental health
- reducing ecological footprint
- food waste
- equal working opportunities or equal access to education
- affordable housing
- innovative green solutions for urban development
- tackling migration in towns and cities
- accessible, sustainable and affordable public transport
- healthy child nutrition etc.
The representatives of cities and towns from Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and other countries presented their achievements and good practice examples of various topics. The common denominator of the whole conference was the health of the population and the mechanisms to create favourable conditions for a happier life for all in cooperation with citizens living in cities. At the summit, the participants had the opportunity to attend two stimulating side events on migration and gender in the context of health and access to health care. At the conclusion of the summit, the Copenhagen Consensus of Mayors was jointly adopted by acclamation. The text is available here.
The underlying idea of the summit was the growing importance of mayors as major drivers of change exerting strong influence on urban live not only at local level, but also at national and international level where they can act as their voice. For more information, click here.
Another opportunity for partnerships at European level will be the WHO International Healthy Cities Conference Belfast held on 1st – 4th October 2018 aimed at evaluating and celebrating thirty years of the Healthy Cities Movement. For further information: https://www.healthycitiesbelfast2018.com/
Photo: WHO Twitter