World Health Day

Examples of what your city can do in open streets

The global goal is for 1000 cities to participate in the World Health Day campaign, ideally opening up their streets to promote a physical or mental health activity by closing off sections to traffic. Cities can:

  • open up streets during the week of 7-11 April 2010; then
  • promote a physical or mental health activity in the open streets.

What is done in the open streets is left to the creativity, desires, and priorities of a city. It can be one activity or several.

A few ideas to get you started

Sponsor a run or walk

It can be a 10k walk through the city, or maybe a walk with your mayor or prime minister to a cultural attraction in your town.

Exercise in the park

Set up classes in open areas in martial arts, aerobics, yoga, dance, or whatever interests your fellow citizens.

Support your local businesses

Have restaurants give cooking demonstrations with healthy food in the street bazaars set up in the traffic-free zones. Promote farmers by setting up a farmers market with fruit and vegetables.

Create cycling paths

Open up 10 or 100 kilometres of road to encourage cycling in the city streets. A great way to exercise and see the city in a new way! Ensure proposed races are open to wheelchair racers and that all activities are accessible to people with disabilities.

Other ideas
  • Enjoy music by holding a classical concert for all to enjoy.
  • Hold a special football match or championship series commemorating the Day.
  • Set up “Move for health zones” – a health fair in the streets with BMI screening stations, displays of health products, and samples of a variety of health drinks and foods made from local produce.
  • Provide a trader’s fair of sporting goods, equipment and athletic wear, and encourage people to pick up a new sport or join a team.
  • Sponsor a conference, workshop or symposium with local experts on urbanization and health.

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