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What is Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities?

___Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities provides an intellectual and philosophical framework for an inclusive, participatory process of developing a healthy community.

The two basic premises upon which Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities rests are:

___A comprehensive view of health.

___A commitment to health promotion.

Why use Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities?

You use Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities because:

___It takes a community perspective on issues and health promotion.

___It brings a sense of community ownership to any initiative.

___It provides a broader range of ideas.

___It gives access to citizens’ knowledge of the community.

___It encourages community-wide ties.

___It assumes participatory planning.

___It sets achievable goals.

___It asks for the identification and use of community assets and resources.

___It establishes a community commitment to the process over the long term.

___It creates a healthy community self-image.

Who should participate in Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities?

___You try to engage everyone in the community.

You make particular efforts to engage:

___Local officials.

___Target populations.

___Anyone who implements or administers, or whose life or job will be changed or affected by, the initiative.

___All the agencies, organizations, and institutions that will need to cooperate or collaborate in order to realize goals.

___Local opinion leaders.

How do you use Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities?

You include the necessary components of a successful Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities initiative by encouraging the community to:

___Create a compelling vision based on shared values.

___Embrace a broad definition of health and well-being.

___Address quality of life for everyone.

___Engage diverse citizen participation and be citizen-driven.

___Encourage multisectoral membership and widespread community ownership.

___Acknowledge the social determinants of health and the interrelationship of health with other issues (housing, education, peace, equity, social justice).

___Address issues through collaborative problem-solving.

___Focus on systems change.

___Build capacity using local assets and resources.

___Measure and benchmark progress and outcomes.

To approach a Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities process, you:

___Assemble a diverse and inclusive group.

___Generate a vision.

___Assess the assets and resources in the community that can help you realize your vision, and the issues that act as barriers to it.

___Choose a first issue to focus on.

___Develop a community-wide strategy, incorporating as many organizations, levels, and sectors as possible.

___Implement the plan.

___Monitor and adjust your initiative or intervention.

___Establish new systems that will maintain and build on the gains you’ve made.

___Celebrate benchmarks and successes