Health promotion

9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Shanghai 2016

The future of public health lies in cities

A group of children perform exercises in the open air. Shanghai, China.
WHO China

"Public health was born in cities. In the 19th century, sanitation revealed how city planning affected citizen health. This recognition of the link between people’s health and the places they lived led to dramatic changes in the way health policy was created. In a world where over half the population now lives in towns and cities, it is time for us to revisit this link and remember why it matters," says WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan.

Global leaders agree to promote health to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Leaders from governments and United Nations organizations, city chiefs and health experts from around the world today made two landmark commitments to promote public health – stressing the links between health and wellbeing and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals – and to advance health through improved management of urban environments.

Promoting health, promoting sustainable development: Health for all, and all for health

Promoting health is central to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. In highlighting how health and sustainable development are inextricably linked, this Conference, 21–24 November 2016, will chart a new course for the next 15 years, aimed at inspiring national governments, municipal leaders and other stakeholders to grasp the great potential of promoting health across all sectors of society.

FEEDCities project documents urban food environments

This 360 virtual reality video documents the vibrant food market landscapes in several cities in central Asia and south-eastern Europe. The video forms part of the FEEDCities project, which is an ongoing multi-country initiative coordinated by WHO Regional Office for Europe to describe the urban food environments of cities in central Asia, the Caucasus and south-eastern Europe. Street markets play a unique and important part of the food culture in these countries. Data around dietary habits and food composition, namely trans fats and salt content, is being captured for the first time ever in many of these countries. The video is best viewed using virtual reality headsets.

What makes a healthy city, and can people, from political leaders and parents, help make their homes healthier?

Nordic walking

At the 9th Global conference on health promotion there will be a particular focus on taking action to make our cities places that promote health. Mayors clearly play a leading role here. Municipal leaders have the power to improve the lives and well-being of millions - if not - billions of people. Half of the world’s population already live in urban areas, and this is expected to grow to around two-thirds by 2030.

All train stations and airports in Shanghai to go 100% smoke-free

WHO warmly welcomes the strengthening of Shanghai’s existing tobacco control law with respect to smoke-free public places and work places. The Shanghai Regulations on Control of Smoking in Public Places was amended today after months of intense debate and deliberation. Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China said that "the smoking ban in these venues will help to protect the health of Shanghai residents and tourists, by preventing exposure to deadly second-hand smoke every time they are passing through these transport and transit hubs.”

Programme and video of events

View of the city of Shanghai at night.

Over 40 events covered healthy cities, good governance, health promotion in China and health literacy. Some were recorded.

Shanghai Declaration

A view of Shanghai airport.

The Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion has been endorsed by the participants of the conference.

Conference report


Shanghai Consensus on Healthy Cities

View of the city at night, Shanghai, China.

Mayors attending the Conference adopted a Shanghai Consensus on Healthy Cities.

Speakers presentations

Presentations delivered by experts involved in wide array of health topics covered during the conference are available for download here.


Policy briefs, videos and infographics.

Related information


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Conference themes

Promoting health, promoting sustainable development