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Promoting the Health in Kuressaare


Detailed description of the Good Practice

Kuressaare is an insular town, located on the biggest Estonian island Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea which became a designated Healthy City in 1998. It has not participated in Phases I and II. In 2000, Kures-saare joined the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign, signing the Aalborg Charter. The health awareness has become much higher among both politicians and community groups.

During Phase III Kuressaare Development Plan for 2001-2005, Kuressaare Master Plan for 2000-2010 and Kuressaare Health and Sustainable Development Strategy for 2002-2010 were developed and launched. The planning process has involved community groups, professionals and politicians of all spheres. The Strategy clearly states that the objective of Kuressaare is to create a socially equitable, liveable and sustainable living environment through developing small-scale enterprises, viable environment and supportive community, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing standards of the community. The Strategy has been approved by the Town Council and has thus become a legally binding document.

Kuressaare has promoted the Healthy Cities movement in Estonia and contributed significantly to the official establishment of the Estonian National Healthy Cities Network in January 2002. The city of Kuressaare implemented following projects:
•"Planning the future of Kuressaare together" - community members were asked to contribute to the development documents of the town. A questionnaire was conducted, answers analysed and results included in the planning documents.
• Project "Moving Kuressaare" - a series of outdoor physical activity events were aimed at different population groups;
•"Health Day in Kuressaare" - an annual health fair aimed at promoting healthy food, products and activities;
• "A playground in the yard" - a project in cooperation with apartment associations, a play and sports-ground was reconstructed or established in each residential area of the town;
•"Health at School" - a project in co-operation with Saaremaa co-educational Gymnasium; objective: prevention of bearing disorders and introducing special physical activities for children with bearing problems;
• Training of school nurses - in co-operation with the Family Doctors Centre; objective: developing the skills and knowledge of school nurses;
• Sanctuary for children - in co-operation with St. Lawrence Congregation a sanctuary was established for children and mothers seeking for shelter because of violence at home;
• Foster homes - a project recruiting and training families that provide material and psychological support to children from problematic homes;
• Mapping the elderly - about 300 old age people living alone were interviewed for identifying the needs for supporting services;
• Social Home - an institution was established for providing shelter, catering, services
and counselling to homeless and families in need;
• Health programmes on local radio - regular radio programmes to raise the awareness on health and health related issues;
• Kuressaare Health Paper - a free newspaper to all homes in Kuressaare for raising the awareness of health and health related issues;
• Towards drug free environment - a project targeted at teenage students in the schools of Kuressaare for promoting drug, tobacco and alcohol free life;
• A number of strategic documents in different areas.

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files

Contact details

Ingrid Tilts
National Network and Healthy City Coord.
Estonian Healthy Cities Network Kuressaare Healthy City Project

Kuressaare Town Government
Tallinna 10
93813 Kuressaare
Tel: +372 45 33 588
Fax: +372 45 33590
E-mail: ingrid.tilts@kuressaare.ee

Data sources and references


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