The Regional Healthy City Network was created in 2012. The network hosts a dynamic web site, which includes an interactive map, tools to facilitate the exchange of national, regional and global experiences, the sharing of success stories, photos and a list of events. The web site also provides links to guidelines, tools and information that can be used to provide technical support to countries to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate national healthy city programmes.
Since its launch in January 2012, several mayors of various cities in Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco and United Arab Emirates have joined the network by signing a registration form. Many more are set to join. The community-based initiatives programme aims to register a further 200 cities in the regional network by the end of 2013.
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
In April 2012, a team from the community-based initiatives programme of the Regional Office visited Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, to conduct a healthy city planning workshop, as the next step in Sharjah joining the network. A city coordinating committee in Sharjah developed a workplan to address some of the challenges facing the city and to improve the health and social status of its citizens.
A letter of collaboration was signed on 24 April 2012 between WHO and the mayor of Saida, Lebanon, declaring Saida a member of the Regional Healthy City Network. It is expected that a healthy city workplan for Saida will be developed in a meeting scheduled for 19 to 20 June 2012. The WHO Regional Office will provide technical support and facilitate a two-day meeting in Saida.