Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Healthy Cities, Healthy People

08 November 2021

When you think of the services provided by local government, what immediately springs to mind? The obvious and tangible, of course, such as housing, roads, education. There are, however, many other functions that have a profound and important impact on our communities and contribute, in a collective way, to our daily lives. One crucial role played by local councils is in relation to our health.


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of cities and towns to infectious diseases and the critical role of local government in disease response.  Planning, housing, water, waste management and economic opportunities are all critical to people’s health and yet they fall outside the conventional remit of national health ministries.

Join the healthy cities campaign

We are asking cities and their leaders to join us in a very important campaign: Healthy Cities, Healthy People. This is a new initiative bringing together urban leaders and organisations committed to creating healthy cities for all, with a focus on reducing rates of infectious and vector- borne diseases and NTDs. 

This initiative aims to ensure that these core local government responsibilities are better connected to national and global health agendas; and to provide the impetus for a new wave of cooperation and investment to make cities and towns healthy places for all, across the Commonwealth and beyond.

CLGF is working with a group of partners, including UN Habitat, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, BOVA, CRS, Uniting to Combat NTDs and WHO to make this connection more strongly and to highlight the importance of working more closely with cities and urban councils in ensuring healthy communities.


The campaign will be launched, and the Common Position published, at an online event on 23rd November 2021, 1200-1250 UTC. CLGF members are encouraged to join the campaign and get involved; and one way of doing this is to sign your city up to the Common Position.  If you would like to attend the virtual launch, please contact CLGF Programme Manager, Claire Frost. 

Common position

The Common Position will be available at the event and signing up to this is a way for cities to:


  • highlight the role of cities and local governments in ensuring healthy local communities;
  • emphasise the need for more multi-sector working on health, and for local government to be properly empowered and resourced to deliver effectively on their mandate;
  • identify partnership opportunities to promote healthy cities in policy and programmes; and
  • create a space for networking, learning and exchange on healthy cities within CSCN.


The longer term aim is to mobilise substantial and sustainable support for urban health investment across the Commonwealth, with a strong focus on these diseases, with city and local government leaders playing a central role in decision-making at local, national and global level.


CLGF would like to have as many cities and local governments endorsing the Common Position when the campaign is launched, and in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2022.


Join the movement for healthy cities!


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