World Health Day

1000 cities: open streets to people

Any city, town, or local authority is welcome to participate. National leaders are encouraged to take part in the Day by promoting and participating in activities. An online registration form should be completed to officially register city participation and be eligible for some of the opportunities the campaign may provide (e.g. publicity, designation as one of the 1000 cities, etc.). Individuals can participate in the city-led events and can also submit individual stories of urban health champions. Following is the list of options for participation:

1. 1000 cities: open streets to people during the week of 7 – 11 April 2010

Cities are invited to open a portion of their streets to people and close them to motor vehicles, offering citizens a novel public space for physical exercise, meeting family, friends and community, health checks, eating healthy local food or visiting local attractions.

The ideal target date for opening streets is 11 April. For those cities where Sundays are a working day of the week, 9 April would be the preferred alternative.

What is done in car-free zones is open to the creativity, desires, and priorities of a city. It can be one activity or several. Cycling in Latin America may be fun, but tai chi, classical music concerts, hosting soccer games, or enjoying a 10k walk with your mayor may be more applicable elsewhere.

2. 1000 cities: organize other activities throughout the week

There are many other activities, events, and policies that can demonstrate support for the World Health Day campaign. The announcement of bylaws or regulations on tobacco, food, waste management, or holding regular car-free events on a given day each week in the summer, are just a few examples of other major city initiatives.

Activities or initiatives should encourage the participation of several types of agencies or groups, as this is one of the main messages of the World Health Day campaign – going beyond the health sector to ensure lasting health benefits to cities and citizens. School assemblies; activities with children; poster campaigns with schools; university forums; company relay races; clean-up campaigns; health fairs; and town hall meetings with mayors, national leaders, heads of states on local health concerns, are also activities to consider.

Related links


WHO Centre for Health Development
WHO Kobe Centre
IHD Centre Building 9F
1-5-1 Wakinohama-Kaigandori
Kobe 651-0073

Tel: +81 78 230 3100

Jacob Kumaresan
WHO Kobe Centre
Director, WHO Kobe Centre
Tel: +81 78 230 3102
Mobile: +81 80 2435 1861

Lori Sloate
WHO Kobe Centre
Advocacy and partnerships
Tel: +81 78 230 3131
Mobile: +81 80 2435 1864