Compassionate Cities: Global significance & meaning for palliative care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compassionate Cities programs are civic efforts to contribute to the work of palliative care by providing a variety of supports – educational, interpersonal, policy-oriented – for the end of life care needs for people from all walks of life in the wider society. These programs are public health initiatives that trace their history to the WHO Healthy Cities movement of the 1980s. These initiatives are designed to understand and act upon the social determinants of health, work to promoting health and wellbeing, tackle morbidities and unnecessary mortality, and lead on community action, often in partnership with health services. This article argues that these very same initiatives are essential in palliative care in addressing similar challenges at the end of life. These public health models: (1) provide a social model of health for palliative care; (2) promote valuable civic engagement and partnership with clinical services in palliative care; and (3) help build and normalize cultural literacy about dying, death, and grief, and in so doing make significant contributions to tackling the co-morbidities and co-mortalities associated with life-limiting illness, caregiving and bereavement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalProgress in Palliative Care
Issue number2
Early online date18 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020

Cite this