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Healthy Urban Planning - Networks in Stokholm County

Stockholm County

Detailed description of the Good Practice

As Stockholm County has a regional membership we started some networks for those municipalities who wanted to be part of the Healthy Cities work. The municipalities can apply to be a “Local Healthy City” if they want. To be accepted they have to describe and fulfil 12 criteria: inter-sectoral approach, political support, targets, action plan, priorities, resources, equality, overall approach, ethical aspects, participation of the population, and follow-up. The county decided to concentrate and support the de-velopment within some strategic areas:
• municipalities
• urban planning
• work sites
• physical activity
• tobacco prevention

One of the networks is for professional working with initiatives for tobacco prevention, another network to support healthy work places, one network for people working with health information to the general public. The networks have also arranged conferences and seminars. It has also been decided to have a theme of “Healthy Urban Planning” with conferences, seminars and lectures. The target population is municipality politicians, urban planners, health planners, road- and house constructors. There has also been a conference addressing Children, Youth, Integration and Health to pay attention to this problem and to make the UN Children’s convention an important part of the Healthy Cities work. One other im-portant task has been to make people aware of the Health - 21 Targets.

Focus and scope
One focus is to support important organisations to develop healthy actions, such as healthy urban planning, healthy work places, health promoting municipalities and those working to intensify physical activity. The county has both strategic and operational partnerships as well as formal and informal. Strategic partnerships are more formal such as appointing Local Healthy Cities and the operational more informal such as supporting sports organisations and working with tobacco prevention. County Council politicians and senior civil servants are the core in the Steering Committee. The terms of reference have been to support organisations having the interest and willingness to promote health and the prerequisite to carry out actions that also can inspire others.

Examples of people’s participation
There are differences in how the various municipalites work. Here follows a few examples of cooperation between the county and different municipaities: some munipicalities have worked with involvement of the citizens in the planning for the future; where public health issues are included. Other examples of public involvement are public meetings, citizens-working groups, inviting teenagers to political meetings, using computers to give citizens possibilities to "chat" with your politicans as well as questionaires aimed at young women asking about saftey, food habits and sexuality. Another questionaire and an e-mail based study were done to get information about saftey and well-beeing of the general population. Moreover, a mapping tecnic have been used to view children’s safty degree of the roads trav-elled to school. The children showed at maps where the roads were not safe. These maps were given to the urban planning office for consideration.

In another municipalities there has been interwievs with teenagers and the business sector to receive information regarding their needs and activites with the citizens. Moreover, there is also a youth parlament which is consulted at all important municipal issues eg urban planns. Another example is a forum for ideas two times a year together with the citizens. As the sport NGO:S are very active their members also take active part in the development of physical activities.

Citizens have also taken part in Violence Preventive Work through interviews, questionaires, and meetings. There has also been work with a development program with the aim to increase the situation for the popultation regarding employmentrate, strengthening the swedish language, increase the level of education and increasing the participatation in the community. Special funding is possible for initiatives from the popultation. The district has asked the general population by questionnaire and interviews about how they want the development of their city district. A special plan for how to communicate overall aims, targets, steps in the development etc was created. Communicators are Linkworkes meeting NGO:s, organisation, and the general population. The Linkworkes speaks arabic, somalian, kurdic, tur-cish and swedish. Several working groups were established with representants from NGO’s,and other organisations to give information and supporting new ideas and initiatives.

Examples concerning empowerment
From the County Council money has been given to NGO: s to work with people’s self-esteem and self-confidence. A new kind of coalition has taken place in the region for the last 10 years, this is called “Family centre”. The centres are situated the same building as the maternity clinic, children’s health care clinic, curators from social welfare office and open pre-school (free and open for all, whenever you want to come). It is mostly single, immigrants and/or unemployed parents coming to these centres. You can get help with family planning, knowledge on how to handle your private economy or taking care of your children, cooking-classes etc. The funding of these Family centres is shared by the municipalities and the County Council; these centres are not projects but regular activities.

In another municipality there is “language development” in pre-schools and schools. It is special classes for those pupils who need more help with the Swedish language and home-work. There are also special persons working as “health inspires”, a person promoting health at the work place. Another example is the association for tenants who wanted to do something to improve the safety in the living area. A meet-ing was arranged with the police-district and a plan was developed where the people are the core in the implementation.

Information to citizens
The county council has web sites e.g. www.vardguiden.se , http://www.folkhalsoguiden.se/StartAmnesomraden.aspx?id=333. Health information by telephone and a “Stop Smoking” telephone line is also available. The Stockholm Centre for Public Health (Community Medicine Unit) produces several newsletters and magazines mainly to stakeholders but also for waiting-rooms at medical clinics, dental clinics and hospitals. Municipal magazines are also used main-ly to inform about different activities but also to give health messages. Mostly, local news papers are used by the municipalities to give information to the population. (www.folkhalsoguiden.se Folkhälso-rapport, 2003).

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files

Contact details

Lena Kanstöm
Coordinator of Healthy City Stockholm County
Center for Public Health

Stockholm County Council
Box 17533
S-118 91 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 737 35 20
Fax: +46 8 517 78 099
E-mail: lena.kanstrom@sll.se

Data sources and references


Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association
WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region