THE NATIONAL HEALTHY CITIES AND COUNTIES OF IRELAND NETWORK

Implementing Healthy Ireland at a Local Level

Healthy Cities and Counties

Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network Launch

The National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network was launched in City Hall, Dublin on 29th November 2016. A short video of the day’s highlights will soon be available to view here.

Healthy Cities Project

The Healthy Cities project is a global World Health Organization (WHO) movement, set up in 1986. It involves Local Authorities working to improve health and wellbeing through political commitment, working in partnership with local stakeholders and supporting innovative projects.

The WHO European Healthy Cities projects’ main goal is to put health high on Local Authorities’ social, economic and political agendas. Health is the business of all sectors. Local Authorities have the power to protect and promote their citizens’ health and wellbeing. Health in this context includes economic and urban development, and regeneration.

What is a Healthy City or County?

A healthy city or county works to:

  • improve health and wellbeing by creating and continually improving its physical and social environments, and
  • develop community resources that help people to support each other and achieve their potential.

The National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network

The network aims to:

  • promote lifelong health and wellbeing,
  • provide a means where local issues can influence national policy, and
  • provide a voice for Ireland in the WHO Network of European National Healthy Cities Networks.

The National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network has representatives from government departments, the HSE, the Institute of Public Health and the Federation of Irish Sport and local political and community representatives.

 What is the Healthy Cities and Counties approach to health and wellbeing?

The Healthy Cities and Counties approach to health and wellbeing recognises the need to work in collaboration across public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations. Many factors affect our health – where we live, our environment, our genetics, our income and education level, our relationship with friends and family. These factors (‘determinants of health’) are often outside the direct influence of health and social services.

The Healthy Cities and Counties way of working and thinking includes involving local people in decision-making, requires political commitment and organisational and community development, and recognises the process to be as important as the outcomes.

Local Authorities’ Involvement

Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) are helping to create and sustain healthy places for people to be born, grow, live, work and age in. Each local authority has set up an LCDC to develop, co-ordinate and implement local and community development programmes. Working with a range of organisations and groups, the LCDCs are ideally placed to support Healthy Ireland in response to local people’s needs. LCDCs are key partners in realising a Healthy Ireland through developing the National Healthy Cities and Counties Network of Ireland.

Joining the Network

Local Authorities, through their LCDC, can apply to join the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network using WHO criteria that are based on the European health policy framework, Health 2020. These criteria set an international quality standard. There are national networks in 20 countries in the WHO European Region, bringing together more than 1,400 cities and towns.

 For further information on the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network, please contact:

 Fiona Donovan – National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network Coordinator

Email: fiona.donovan@hse.ie             Phone: 091 737 263

To download an information sheet, click here.