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The World Health Organization defines a healthy city or community as "one that is safe with affordable housing and accessible transportation systems, work for all who want to work, a healthy and safe environment with a sustainable ecosystem, and offers access to health care services which focus on prevention and staying healthy." The healthy community initiative is based on the concept that "health is more than the absence of disease, and, in this context, health is defined broadly to include the full range of quality of life issues."

The healthy city strives to provide a thriving economy and opportunities for individuals and families while adequately addressing public health, medical care, and other essential needs of its population. In addition, a healthy community demonstrates an element of interconnectedness. When a healthy community initiative is undertaken, a communal spirit develops, linking public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address the underlying causes of poor health. Healthy community participants represent the wide spectrum of interests and roles that make a community work.s

The Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities, a partnership of organizations collaborating to focus attention and resources on improving the overall health and quality of life of local communities, offers the following definition:

Community is defined to include all persons and
organizations within a reasonably circumscribed
geographic area in which there is a sense of
interdependence and belonging.


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