An initiative of the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization that originated soon after the Alma-Ata Conference and Declaration in 1978 and spread to cities and communities worldwide. The aim is to enhance the quality of life by making communities conducive to healthy living, providing resources and facilities for recreation; easy access to settings for exercise, sport, and physical activity, such as swimming, bicycling, and walking; and designing dwellings that are amenable to good living rather than just stultifying and depressing places to live. There is much emphasis on sustainable development. The success of the healthy cities movement in Düsseldorf, Toronto, Dakar, and several other pioneer cities encouraged expansion to cities in more than 50 countries, rural communities, and island states. The initiative faded when many communities perceived that it provided excuses for national governments to download tasks and programs that had previously been financed by national or state budgets.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.