Part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) initiative, Derry City & Strabane District Healthy City & District project brings health, housing, transport, education, environment and community together to collaborate on a holistic health and wellbeing approach within the district.

Derry and Strabane first joined this global network of cities in 2009 and remains one of only a handful of areas in Ireland and the UK to be leading the way through participation in this political movement which is designed to make health and wellbeing a central strategic approach. 

Looking beyond the traditional approach

The Healthy Cities framework looks beyond statutory services and care providers as the sole means to deliver health.

It brings together the concepts of:

  • People
  • Place
  • Participation
  • Planet
  • Prosperity
  • Peace

Erin Richardson, Chief Executive at Developing Healthy Communities, said:

“Being part of the World Health Organisation Network offers us the opportunity, not only to learn from others internationally, but also to showcase some of the innovative and ground breaking work that is already happening here locally.”

Our Process

Derry City & Strabane District into a 'Healthy City' is not an outcome. It’s a process.

WHO defines healthy cities as those which are:

  • Conscious of their current health status and striving to improve it
  • Committed to health and putting structures and processes in place to achieve it
  • Continually improving its physical and social environment and community resources to enable people to mutually support each other

Our Approach

We are seeking to raise health to the top of the city and district’s political and social agendas.

This commitment will encourage participatory governance, intersectional collaboration and action to address the determinants of health which sit outside the traditional brief such as housing, education and social welfare. There also needs to be collaboration across public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations:

Key requirements for success:

  • Explicit political commitment
  • Leadership
  • Institutional Change
  • Intersectoral partnerships

We aspire to build a strong movement for public health at a local level and critically to involve local people in decision making.

"There are examples from around the world where this type of innovative approach to address health and living conditions has been used successfully. Through the Healthy Cities programme, Developing Healthy Communities facilitates decision makers to network and identify new approaches that could be implemented."