In 1977, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the idea of Health for All, recognising that health is more than the absence of disease but includes physical, mental and social aspects. Healthy Cities was established by WHO in 1986 to turn the principles of Health for All into practice. Healthy Cities projects promote innovation and change in local health policy and advocate new approaches to public health.
The Healthy Cities approach means process, not just outcomes. A Healthy City is not necessarily one that has achieved a particular health status. It is conscience of health as an urban issue and is striving to improve it. Any city can be a healthy city if is committed to health and has a structure and process to work for its improvement.