Medicine And Books

Healthy Cities: Research and Practice

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6932.865 (Published 26 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:865
  1. Ian Harvey

    The healthy cities movement draws on various sources: the idea, sustained by the work of the epidemiologist Thomas McKeown and others, that medical interventions and services are not the major determinants of the health of populations--rather nutrition, sanitation, housing, and ultimately poverty are much more potent; the view that conventional data on morbidity and mortality do not capture what many people consider important when asked to consider what constitutes “good health”--namely, that sense of physical, mental, and social wellbeing that the World Health Organisation has incorporated into its definition of health; and the conviction that social (and hence health) inequalities are, quite simply, wrong and that their reduction should be an overriding objective. The first two of these are in principle empirical issues, while the third--as one of the contributors to Healthy Cities: Research and Practice freely acknowledges--is a matter of moral and political belief.

    By 1990, 30 European cities were officially part of the WHO “Healthy Cities” project and the book has its origins in a conference held in one of those cities--Glasgow--in 1991 with …

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