Guiding principles

A social view of health recognises the impact that physical, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the environment have on the health of the community.

A social view of health implies that the interventions should aim to change those aspects of the environment which are promoting ill health, rather than continue to deal with illness after it appears or continue to urge individuals to change their attitudes and lifestyles when, in fact, the environment in which they live, work and play gives them little choice or support for making such changes.

The Healthy Cities approach seeks to put health high on the political and social agenda of cities and to build a strong movement for public health at the local level.

Strong emphasis is given to equity, participatory governance and solidarity, inter-sectoral collaboration and action to address the determinants of health.

The successful implementation of this approach requires innovative actions addressing all aspects of health and living conditions and extensive networking between sectors and community groups.

This entails
•    Explicit political commitment
•    Leadership
•    Institutional change
•    Inter-sectoral partnerships
•    Community participation