Healthy Cities


Healthy CitiesHealthy_Cities_logo

Kiama was recognised as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Healthy City in August 2008.

What Is Healthy Cities?

In 1986, The World Health Organisation launched Healthy Cities in Europe. WHO define a healthy city as "a city that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and to develop their maximum potential."

Currently, there are over 1300 Healthy Cities world-wide and is based on the concept that the social, economic and physical environment is key to the health of city dwellers.  Healthy Cities aim to put health on the agenda of decision makers, build support for local public health action and develop local participatory approaches to health and environmental issues.

Healthy Cities is a cooperative approach to health planning and urban administration and based on improved cooperation between different sectors of government and greater community participation in decision making can result in an environment more conducive to good health.

Further information

WHO Healthy Settings

WHO European Cities

WHO Western Pacific Region

Alliance For Healthy Cities

The Alliance for Healthy Cities is an international network that aims to protect and enhance the health of city dwellers within the Asia-Pacific region and is founded on the international efforts of Healthy Cities worldwide. It provides an opportunity for international exchange between regions.

Members of the Alliance for Healthy Cities comprise of municipal governments, national governments, NGOs, private sectors, academic institutions and international agencies. Current members of the Australian Chapter are:

  • Casey City
  • Gold Coast CityMayor Sandra McCarthy
  • Logan City
  • Kiama City
  • Townsville City
  • Marian City
  • Healthy Cities Illawarra
  • Healthy Cities Onkaparinga
  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University


As of July 2011, Kiama Municipal Council's former Mayor Sandra McCarthy was elected as President of the Australian Chapter of the Alliance for Healthy Cities.

Further information

Australian Chapter- Alliance for Healthy Cities

The History Of Healthy Cities in Kiama

Although not being recognised as an "official" WHO Healthy City until 2008, Kiama has had a long commitment to the Healthy Cities Movement through the Kiama Health Plans and through involvement in Healthy Cities Illawarra.

In May 2008, Kiama hosted the inaugural Healthy Cities Alliance Australian Chapter National Forum and Meeting.  Representatives from across Australia and Asia discussed "solutions to the urban challenges facing Healthy Cities in Australia."

  Healthy_Cities_4_MayorAcceptanceMayor with Alliance Group

To close the forum delegates celebrated the visions to 'grow' the Healthy Cities Movement in Australia.

  Tree CelebrationHealthy Cities Tree Plaque

In 2009, Kiama Council representatives were invited to Hangzhou, China to the International Healthy Cities Mayor's Forum where former Councillor van der Wijngaart presented Kiama's Healthy Cities Programs and signed the Hangzhou Declaration.

  Deputy Mayor with Hangzhou visitorsDeputy Mayor signing declarationHangzhou group

Kiama's Healthy Cities achievements (and the Kiama Health Plans) have also been presented nationally and internationally including:

  • October 2004 – Alliance for Healthy Cities Conference and Inaugural General Assembly, Sarawak Malaysia
  • October 2005 - Mayor’s Roundtable Conference, Taiwan
  • March 2007 – Australian Healthy Cities Conference , Gold Coast
  • June 2008 - World Cities Summit, Singapore.
  • March 2009 – Australian Healthy Cities Conference, Gold Coast
  • July 2011 - Making Cities Livable Conference (Australian Chapter Conference), Noosa