209456 Evaluation of the Healthy Cities Movement in the Republic of Korea

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:15 AM

Jinhee Kim, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Kwangwook Koh, MD, PhD , College of Medicine, Dept. of Prventive Medicine, Kosin University, Busan, South Korea
Keon-Yeop Kim, MD, PhD , Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, KyungPook National University, Daegu, South Korea
Won Gi Jhang, MD, MPH, PhD , Department of Preventive Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, South Korea
Sun Mi Lim, MPH , Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, South Korea
Yoon Hyung Park, MD, PhD , Department of Preventive Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, South Korea
The concept of Healthy Cities has gained significant momentum in the Republic of Korea in the recent years. Starting with only 4 local municipalities in 2004, the membership has rapidly grown to 48 in 2008, which accounts for 20% of all Korean local authorities.

This phenomenon attracts great interest in several aspects initiation from within local governments apart from the pre-existing national health promotion programs and subsequent cooperation, partnerships with local universities, capacity building and networking efforts and increasing political support.

This study analyzes responses of in-depth interviews from the four initial Healthy Cities and responses from standardized surveys of all 48 current Healthy Cities. We assessed progress in the major domains of healthy cities projects.

Strong collaboration with academic institutions, establishment of full-time healthy city project teams and support from the central government are shown to be major strengths and opportunities while low community participation, weak partnership with the private sectors and moderate inter-sectoral partnerships within the city government are the future challenges for Korean Healthy Cities. Also, the participating cities sought support from international networking activities, and regarded membership to the Alliance for Healthy Cities as the starting point of a Healthy Cities Program.

With the upcoming Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities to be hosted in Seoul in October 2010, research in this field is encouraged within the Korean public health society.

Learning Objectives:
This paper evaluates the first 5 years of the implementation of the Healthy Cities projects in the Republic of Korea.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This study is part of my PhD dissertation at Seoul National University, and is a part of a project funded by the Korean Center for Disease Control. I have participated as the Healthy Cities project coordinator in Gangnam (a district in Seoul City) since 2005.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.