Healthy Settings

Types of Healthy Settings

Healthy Municipalities and Communities


The Healthy Municipalities and Communities (HMC) movement is a main implementation strategy for healthy promotion activities in the Americas. It integrates actions across public health, popular education and community development. To create a unified front in improving public health, the involvement of local governments, the community, and other sectors are essential. Thus, the WHO Regional Office of the Americas has adopted a participatory development framework to encourage collaborative commitments from the three areas.

City on a river
The World Bank/Francis Dobbs

The HMC movement has adopted a similar modus operandi to the Healthy Cities movement. The start of the process requires strong support and leadership from the mayor of the municipality and other community leaders. HMC programmes have specific characteristics in the context of increased decentralization and democratic processes, which promote decision-making at the local level.

The HMC movement has been augmented by the increased awareness of the need for health promotion in light of the risks and problems faced by the population today. For example, the increase in chronic diseases and violence in the region have greatly influenced the approach to and goals of public health programmes.

Examples of implementation
Outdoor activities for children
The World Bank/Alejandro Lipszyc

Many countries of the WHO Region of the Americas have Healthy Municipalities and/or Communities initiatives, including Argentina (over 100), Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico (about 1000), Panama, Paraguay, Peru (130), Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, USA, etc.