Goals, Opportunities and Limits to the European Healthy Cities Network
The history of European cities reflects the close, complex ties that unite urban planning and human health. An effective remedy against epidemics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, city planning has, paradoxically, contributed to the appearance of many problems related to the health and well-being of people in the modern era. In September 2012, the European Member States of the WHO adopted “Health 2020”, a strategic policy framework for the twenty-first century. Health 2020 explicitly recognizes the influence of the urban environment on health and the role of healthy cities and national networks in carrying forward the objectives and themes of this European strategy. Health 2020 also recognizes the emblematic role of the leadership of local governments in the development of health. Urban planning should address this activism in European cities and the need to overcome what can be defined as the risk of “projectism”, the risk of a short-term vision relying on isolated interventions rather than long-term programs or policies that can profoundly modify the organization of contemporary urban models in favor of the health and well-being of city inhabitants.
KeywordsUrban health Health 2020 Local governance Long-term urban policies Change of contemporary urban models
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