The Conference marks 25 years of the European and global Healthy Cities movement. The movement represents one of the most enduring and thriving international public health initiatives. This Conference offers the opportunity to celebrate and take stock of the collective achievements of Healthy Cities, which are based on the leadership and creativity of hundreds of cities across Europe and around the world. It will provide ample opportunities for people to share stories and use narrative exchanges as a basis for reflecting, sharing and learning from a wealth of experiences and innovative solutions. Ultimately, the Conference offers a platform for political leaders, health professionals and activists to shape their visions for the future and to renew and reinvigorate their commitment to health, sustainable development and the Healthy Cities movement.
During the past 25 years, the Healthy Cities movement has shown that most of the complex public health challenges of our times and opportunities for improving people’s lives and well-being can be most effectively addressed at the local level. Importantly, action to improve health and well-being has become a driver and barometer of urban and community development. People living in healthy, inclusive, creative and sustainable cities are healthier, safer, more productive and resilient. Leadership is key. Mayors, local decision-makers and health advocates can make a huge difference. Strong local leadership can engage, inspire and enhance system performance. It can bring all sectors and stakeholders whose actions influence health into integrative good governance for health processes that put into practice policies and actions that truly work and are informed by evidence and modern public health thinking. It can demonstrate how value-informed policy-making can enhance health equity in all local policies and care for and protect vulnerable people and their families. In times of austerity, such approaches are vital for the survival and prosperity of urban communities. Increasingly, the strategies for health of WHO globally and regionally and other partner agencies recognize the importance of local action and urban settings as well as the key role of local governments in pursuing health and well-being. Local governments have the power and the mandate to create conditions that can promote healthy living and high quality of life for everyone who lives, works and visits their cities. Action at the local level can complement and reinforce national plans for health promotion and disease prevention. The determinants of health can be better understood and addressed at the local level. The powerful and compelling new evidence base on the social determinants of health provides more legitimacy than ever and a strong foundation for developing future intersect-oral policies and plans to promote healthy urban living.
Opening Ceremony Venue:Megaron Athens International Conference Centre, The Christos Lambrakis HallVass. Sofias & Kokkali Str.Athens, 11521, Greece
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