The Healthy Cities Movement: an Historic Archive

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The UK Healthy Cities Network is part of a global movement for public health and sustainable development with over 25 years’ experience of developing creative solutions to old and new challenges. The movement has been led and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), but the Network also draws on a rich history of trail-blazing values-based work within the UK and seeks to be at the leading edge in anticipating and responding to current and future demands facing our cities and towns.One of around 30 national Healthy Cities networks across Europe, the UK Network was established in 2011 with funding from the Department of Health for England and the Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland – and is co-ordinated by the Healthy Settings Unit at the .

The following archive of historic documents gives an insight into how the Healthy Cities movement has evolved over the last 25 years. The content in these early documents, papers and articles tells a rich tale much of which still resonates well today.


Each archive entry provides a brief introduction to the content with a link to the document, paper or article.

There is also a link to an early video from Liverpool please take time to watch this and reflect on the content.

Click on WatchVideo link above

Related Documents

Healthy Cities

This is a paper written by Professor John Ashton in March 1990. It outlines the first block of cities that took part in the development of the Healthy Cities movement and contains an interesting table outlining rankings for UK cities in relation to the quality of Life.

Sanitarian become ecologist: the new environmental health

BMJ article from 1991 exploring new approaches to environment Health

Liverpool: Creating a Healthy City 1989 - John Ashton

An insight into the early days of the Healthy Cities Movement written in 1989 by John Aston who was then a Senior Lecturer.

Community Matters - Healthy Cities

An occasional paper written by John Ashton in 1988 - Centre for Urban Studies Liverpool University

Inequalities in Health Barcelona and Valencia

A paper published in 1993 comparing the 2 cities

Spanish paper on Healthy Cities published in 1986

This paper is in Spanish - but has a short summary in English it was written in 1986 - shows the development of the Healthy Cities movement

Healthy Cities - The New Public Health in Action

Paper written by Professor John Ashton in the late 80's

Healthy Cities - The New Public Health

A chapter Written by John Ashton and Howard Seymour - The New Public Health

Healthy Cities - WHO'S New Public Health Initiative

Paper published in Health Promotion Vol 1, No 3 written by John Ashton, Paula Grey and Keith Barnard

Research for Healthy Cities

An outline paper written by John Ashton in 1988 again this forms part of the history of the Healthy Cities Movement.

The Healthy City and the Ecological Idea

A paper presented at the Society for the Social History of Medicine Annual Conference in Liverpool 13th July 1990

The Practice Nurse and the Healthy City

Article in the Practice Nurse January 1990

The World Health Organisation Healthy Cities Initiative; A Commonwealth Response

A paper Written by John Ashton in 1988

Urban Lifestyle and Public Health in the City

John Ashton 1990 - from the Statistician (1990) 39 pp.147-156

Promoting Health in the Urban Context - Hancock&Duhl 1988

This is the first of the series of WHO healthy Cities Working papers, written by two of the co-founders - Trevor Hancock and Len Duhl - and published in 1988.

Network Members

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Gulab Singh MBE
Adult Services and Public Health
Lancashire County Council


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Lisa Gibson
Health Improvement Specialist Local Government
The Leeds Initiative
Leeds City Council

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Barbara Drummond

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Sharan Jones
Health and Wellbeing Manager
Nottingham City Council

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Stephen Hewitt
Healthy Urban Team
Bristol City Council/NHS Bristol

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Jonna Monaghan
Senior Health Development Officer
Belfast Health Cities

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Russell Jones
Public Health Programme Manager
Glasgow Centre for Population Health

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Natalie Pugh
Healthy Cities Partnership Team
Sheffield First Health & Wellbeing Partnership 

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Brighton and Hove

Annie Alexander
Public Health Programme Manager
NHS Brighton and Hove

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East Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Partnership

Hira Miah
Public Health Co-ordinator
Lancashire County Council
Public Health, Adult Services, Health & Wellbeing


Sandra Davies
Associate Director of Public Health
Liverpool City Council

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Stoke On Trent

Judy Kurth
Healthy City Manager
Stoke City Council

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Susan Toner
Principal Health Promotion Specialist
Public Health Wales

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Karen Graham
Assistant Policy Lead for Health
Sunderland City Council

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Darren Crossley
Deputy Chief Executive
Carlisle City Council

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Helen Wilding
Wellbeing for Life Development Lead
Newcastle City Council

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Nina Williams
Consultant in Public Health Medicine
Swansea and Bridgend - Public Health Wales

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Derry Londonderry

Eamon O'Kane
Derry Healthy Cities

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Rimple Poonia
Senior Manager, Health Improvement
& Development Service
Portsmouth City Council


East Staffordshire

Sal Khan
Head of Service Commissioning,
East Staffordshire Borough Council



Dr Muna Abdel Aziz
Consultant in Public Health Medicine
Warrington Borough Council

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Jonathon Fagge
Deputy Chief Officer /
Director of Operations & Clinical Transformation
Norwich City Council

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Paul Southon
Public Health Development Manager
Sandwell MBC

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Simon Clark
Head of Health Environment and Neighbourhoods
Chorley Borough Council

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Colin Cox
Assistant Director, Health and Wellbeing/
Director of Public Health
Cumbria County Council


Gulab Singh MBE
Adult Services and Public Health
Lancashire County Council


Mr Rob Barnes
Director of Health and Housing
Tamworth Borough Council

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Paul Brookes
Public Health & Protection Services Manager
Chelmsford City Council

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John Wilcox
Health Improvement Specialist – Engagement and Capacity Building
Wakefield Council

The UK Healthy Cities Network is an accredited member of the WHO European Healthy Cities Programme

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