Resources for Small, Rural and Remote Communities
Now Available: Resources tailored to the rural community context!
This resource portal is a response to the unique opportunities, challenges, and approaches to fostering health and well-being in small, rural and remote communities in BC. The portal offers resources related to PlanH action areas with a rural lens.
The Rural Context
There are over 110 cities, towns, municipalities and villages in BC and of those, over 75% are small, rural or remote communities of less than 30,000 people.i A healthy community approach takes resources and leadership. This can be challenging in small and remote communities where there are fewer organizations, resources and volunteers to do the work. There is often no organization to lead on new or emerging issues like food security or support for seniors at home, and yet the need is often there.
On the positive side, there are many tools and examples of rural success and innovation. Many of these examples are stories of collaborating across sectors, and all of them illustrate “can do” attitudes and creativity to improve well-being.
Resources are organized by the same Take Action Areas as the rest of the PlanH site (Healthy Society, Healthy People, Healthy Environment), for ease of searching.
If you find the portal useful, or if you are looking for something specific, we would love to hear from you in the next year as we continue to build out the resources. Contact us here.
Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance working to advance food security and food sovereignty through three goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems. Their resources cover health, food justice, business, school programs including a Northern/Remote section.
- Food Secure Canada
From Need to Opportunity is a social enterprise guide by and for rural communities in Ontario. This guide walks through the steps from what is a social enterprise to feasibility work, business planning and financing. - Social Enterprise Rural Alliance
While the Intelligent Communities movement is largely focused on urban cities, the example of Mitchel, South Dakota on page 14 suggests rural communities can use information and communications technology to boost in-migration.
- Intelligent Communities Forum
Provides sample bylaws, tools for stewardship and protection of natural green infrastructure for different sized communities and rural areas.
– The Wetland Stewardship Partnership et al.
A guide to building food security in rural communities. The document opens with definitions and an argument for food security, followed by an outline of core ingredients for any food security program: people, mission, resources and administration. It provides examples of possible projects you may decide to explore, with resources for further guidance. It also considers the public policy context for your work (legislation and regulation).
– North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society
The Metro Vancouver Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Transportation and Land Use Activities: Guidebook provides a structured approach for planners and policy-makers to evaluate the potential health-related outcomes of an activity (i.e., a project, plan, or policy) before it has been built or implemented. The Guidebook also provides links to data sources, local and provincial resources, and examples.
The Healthy Built Environment (HBE) Linkages Toolkit, developed by the PHSA Population and Public Health team in partnership with the Healthy Built Environment (HBE) Alliance, is the first evidence-based and expert-informed resource that links planning principles to health outcomes.
Offers a framework for considering the interconnected aspects of a healthy community and provides many practical examples of how communities are accomplishing healthy community goals withing a variety of community scales.
– Canadian Institute of Planners
This study examined rural homelessness dynamics in 22 communities across the provinces and territories. The aim of the research was to identify whether and how Housing First can be implemented in a rural context.
- Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff, PhD, Alina Turner, PhD, University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work
This PlanH short video celebrates the accomplishments of Granisle, a small northern BC community that serves as a vivid demonstration of how age-friendly policies improve health and wellness for community members of all ages. Granisle residents and community partners have demonstrated that becoming age-friendly creates a healthy community for all through community engagement, building infrastructure and inclusive programs.
This guide is intended to help practitioners—engineers, planners, health professionals, economic development officials and others—to improve travel options for residents of small and rural communities. This includes a range of actions that make personal transportation activities more sustainable— encouraging drivers to operate their cars more efficiently, or to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle, take transit or carpool instead.
– Transport Canada
This research explored the extent to which rural areas are and should be engaged with sustainability planning, what that looks like in a rural context and if stakeholders feel a sense of engagement with urban and provincial sustainability goals. The findings are important for local governments, planners and agriculture activists.
- Fraser Basin Council
The local government, health authority and numerous community partners in Kitimat deliver this award winning campaign for physical activity and health. The slides include contacts for more information.
- City of Kitimat and Northern Health Authority
Partnerships have resulted in strong community engagement and increased physical activity in the District of Kitimat. The District of Kitimat and Northern Health signed the Active Living, Health and Wellness Protocol in 2008 to formalize a long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship, and the rewards to the community keep coming.
A toolkit with different ideas for how local government and others can promote enjoyment of fruits and vegetables in remote communities including preservation, gardening, and others.
– BC Ministry of Health